November 14th, 2008

Fishy Circumstances

Partenope

The ENO put on a silly production of a ridiculous opera, and it was so much fun. We laughed a lot. Handel was an immensely prolific opera writer; sure, he did a certain amount of recycling among all his productions, but the music - and the cast's ability to perform it - was glorious nevertheless.

Partenope's setting is the court of the titular queen, where all present at the court (mostly princes of other places) are in love with her. She's a flirtatious woman, but has fallen in love crush with Arsace. The plot is that a man, Eurimene, who has "lost" all his papers and luggage, comes to court pretending to be one of Partenope's suitors. In reality, he's the cross-dressing Rosmira, Arsace's first love, whom he ficklely gave up to pursue Partenope. Wacky hijinks ensure.

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I would recommend you go see it, but I saw the last of the ENO's six productions for the year, so you're out of luck.

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