March 06, 2019

Lust, Lies, and Drama Will Roil the Lyric Stage in ARIODANTE

This March, Lyric audiences will finally get their chance to experience Handel’s Ariodante in its innovative and exciting Lyric premiere!

Villainous Polinesso (Iestyn Davies) lusts after Ginevra (Brenda Rae), but she loves noble Ariodante (Alice Coote), who loves her in return. Polinesso will stop at nothing to get his way, including manipulating the love-stricken Dalinda (Heidi Stober). With Kyle Ketelsen portraying the King of Scotland, Eric Ferring playing Lurcanio, and Josh Lovell as Odoardo, Ariodante will leave audiences enraptured with the drama and genius of Handel’s masterpiece. 

Baroque specialist Harry Bicket conducts the production created by Richard Jones, with sets and costumes designed by ULTZ (Lyric debut), lighting designed by Mimi Jordan Sherin, puppetry designed by Finn Caldwell and Nick Barnes, and choreography by Lucy BurgeBenjamin Davis serves as revival director for Lyric’s performances (the latter four are Lyric debuts). 

How have audiences and critics reacted to this coproduction of Ariodante? Read for yourself!

I love when a show is so engrossing that you forget you’re in a crowd at all.


A show as dramatically complex as this was is also exactly why it is so deliciously interesting.

The Toronto Star

It’s a powerful lesson, made even more so by the contrast with the richly beautiful and varied score. A stellar production.

NOW Toronto

Handel’s Ariodante offers glorious singing, plus inspired and meticulous staging by the British director Richard Jones.

National Post

The decisions Jones has made to update and deepen the resonances of the opera work beautifully both to preserve the integrity of the original and add to it touches and textures that only a modern audience can appreciate. We get traditional opera seria and The Beggar's Opera at the same time.

Globe and Mail

The opera is musically and dramatically gripping throughout.


The Telegraph 

Do not miss your chance to see what called “A praise-worthy event.” 

February Lyric Notes

Photos: Pascal Victor/Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, Michael Cooper/Canadian Opera Company