Händel: Alessandro Severo

Concert Performance of the Opera with Scenic Elements

Thursday 06. 08. 2020 | 19.30 Rudolfinum
Dvořák Hall
náměstí Jana Palacha 79/1, Praha 1 - Staré Město, 110 00


Georg Friedrich Händel (1685–1759):
Alessandro Severo, HWV A13
Concert Performance of the Opera with Scenic Elements

First Performed on 24 February 1738 at the King´s Theatre in London

I Act (Love and Intrigues)
II Act (Separation)

III Act (Revolt and Reconciliation)

Performance with an intermission. Estimated end of performance at 9:45 p.m.


Vladimír Malý – light design


The grand finale of the 21st Summer Festivities of Early Music with their focus on various aspects of nobility and nobleness will be a concert performance of Alessandro Severo, an opera by George Frideric Handel which premiered at The King’s Theatre in London in 1738.


Plots, ploys and intrigues of the powerful – as well as their love affairs and family gossip – have always been an attractive subject matter with nearly inexhaustible artistic potential. Art, in turn, has the power to make a particular historical event or narrative into a timeless story of great beauty...


Such is the case of Alessandro Severo, an opera by one of the great luminaries of the Baroque period, George Frideric Handel. The excellent libretto by the Arcadian poet Apostolo Zeno is based on the life of the last member of the Severan dynasty on the Roman throne, but mitigates the harsh reality of life in the 3rd-century with 18th-century ornaments. It is only fitting that the role of the young emperor should have been intended for a counter tenor since Alexander Severus ascended the throne when only 13 years old. The complex story – based on jealousy and intrigues on the one hand, and on love, forgiveness, generosity and loyalty on the other – ends with a scene of a happy reunion.


The Collegium Marianum Baroque orchestra with its artistic leader Jana Semerádová will accompany six exquisite soloists – the two main roles will be sung by the brilliant Italian countertenor Raffaele Pè (as Alessandro Severo) and well-known Czech soprano Hana Blažíková (as Alessandro’s wife Salustia, a veritable femme fatale who plays a key role in the plot).



The young Roman emperor Alessandro Severo has married the gentle, learned Salustia on the initiative of his mother Giulia. The marriage is a happy one and Alessandro gradually extricates himself from his mother’s political influence… Giulia is thus deprived not only of her son’s affection but her power as well. Her hurt pride turns into a raging jealousy towards Salustia and she has the young woman deported from the country.


The exiled young wife, however, refuses to lose faith in her husband and her love for Alessandro is unmitigated. First she stops a conspiracy against him and then she takes part in an uprising against the emperor’s mother and her intrigues. Together with her father who leads the insurgents, Salustia breaks into Giulia’s palace but in the last moment mercifully saves her from being murdered. Moved by her daughter in law’s kindness, Giulia makes peace with Salustia and Alessandro and peace can finally prevail in the emperor’s family and the whole realm.



Dvořák Hall
náměstí Jana Palacha 79/1, Praha 1 - Staré Město, 110 00

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