Agrippina was staged for the first time in late December 1709 - or possibly at the beginning of 1710 - at Venice’s Teatro San Grisostomo and met with enormous success, as testified by twenty-seven following performances, a record number even for 18th-century standards. Agrippina’s triumph sanctioned Handel’s definitive investiture as an operatic composer. After nearly 300 years this opera appears as a masterpiece of 18th-century music and an innovative work, considering that when Handel composed it he was just twenty-four years old. The composer’s melodic creativity and sense of theatre are quite remarkable. The cast, conducted by Jean-Claude Malgoire, includes Véronique Gens in the title role.
The story of the power-hungry Agrippina was one of Handel's greatest operatic successes. The satirical text plays on the political situation under Pope Clement XI. at. The rousing production from the Slovak National Theater Bratislava is a lively baroque opera on original instruments.
Continuinghis exploration of Handel operas, maestro René Jacobs now turns his attention to Agrippina the first great operatic success of the composer s Italian period. Composed in 1709, Agrippina is an opera seria in three acts on a libretto by Cardinal Vincenzo Grimani. The opera tells the story of Agrippina, the mother of Nero, as she plots the downfall of the Roman Emperor Claudius and the installation of her son as emperor. Grimani s libretto, considered one of the best that Handel set, is full of topical political allusions. Some believe that it reflects the rivalry between Grimani and Pope Clement XI. From its opening night, the work was given a then- unprecedented run of 27 consecutive performances and received much critical acclaim. Observers were full of praise for the quality of the music much of which, in keeping with the contemporary custom, had been borrowed and adapted from other works, including some from other composers. Jacobs performs the work in its original version.
Recorded live at the Saarbrücken State Theatre in 2008, this spectacular new production of Handel's Agrippina has received critical recognition, with reviewer Frank Herkommer of opernnetz.de commenting: "Producer Peter Lund with his celebrated production of Agrippina demonstrates his love with detail, focused on directing the characters, with exuberant fantasy and creativity the Berlin director sparks brilliant Handel fireworks! He succeeds in unleashing an effervescent joy of playing, which puts an irresistible spell on the viewer". Featuring a cast of renowned baroque specialists under the direction of Konrad Junghänel, one of the leading conductors in the array of early music.
Agrippina is brilliant, early Handel. Composed when he was just twenty-four, it was his first big hit in the theatre. It’s full of his fresh, exuberantly inventive music and sets one of the finest librettos Handel worked with. This beautiful production, with an elegant and colorful staging, was recorded at the exquisite Rococo palace theatre in Schwetzingen, built in 1752.
Agrippina – a portrayal of lust and power set in first century Rome – was first performed in December 1709 at the Teatro San Giovanni Crisostomo, Venice. This "arrangement" by John Eliot Gardiner was recorded in 1991/2 in London and has now been re-released. It was Handel's second and last opera to be composed during his time in Italy, from 1706 to 1710. Written against some resistance (the composer at first saw "no good reason" to write (such) an opera) in three weeks while in Venice, it represented the first such popular acclaim of Handel's career being performed over two dozen times in succession.
Agrippina (HWV 6) is an opera seria in three acts by George Frideric Handel with a libretto by Cardinal Vincenzo Grimani. Composed for the 1709–10 Venice Carnevale season, the opera tells the story of Agrippina, the mother of Nero, as she plots the downfall of the Roman Emperor Claudius and the installation of her son as emperor. Grimani's libretto, considered one of the best that Handel set, is an "anti-heroic satirical comedy", full of topical political allusions. Some analysts believe that it reflects Grimani's political and diplomatic rivalry with Pope Clement XI.
Continuinghis exploration of Handel operas, maestro René Jacobs now turns his attention to Agrippina the first great operatic success of the composer s Italian period. Composed in 1709, Agrippina is an opera seria in three acts on a libretto by Cardinal Vincenzo Grimani. The opera tells the story of Agrippina, the mother of Nero, as she plots the downfall of the Roman Emperor Claudius and the installation of her son as emperor…
The performance of Agrippina received a guarded welcome on CD from David Vickers (7/04). Frédéric Fisbach’s production gives an amusing account, respectful yet inventive, of librettist Vincenzo Grimani’s look at the shenanigans of ancient Rome.
Agrippina shares three characters with L’incoronazione di Poppea but at an earlier stage of the story, Poppea here being pursued by Otho, Nero and the emperor Claudius. Agrippina, Claudius’s wife, spends the opera scheming to discredit Otho and to get Nero, her son by a previous marriage, designated as the next emperor. She is ultimately successful, but only after Claudius’s first attempt at a solution proves satisfactory to nobody.
– Richard Lawrence, Gramophone [1/2005]