Author: Sabine Kortals

CU Boulder’s Eklund Opera Program stages “Ariodante” in Music Theatre

Ariodante is a Baroque-era tale of obsession and betrayal told through feminist lens.

A king’s daughter is happily betrothed to a prince, until another man forges a plan to tear them apart. That’s the premise of George Frideric Handel’s searing, emotional tale of obsession and betrayal, which will come to life April 26-29 on CU Boulder’s intimate Music Theatre stage. 

Closing the Eklund Opera Program season, this production of “Ariodante” illuminates the plot from a feminist point of view, and considers the banality of capital punishment cast upon women charged with being unchaste. “The story is relevant to modern social issues,” says Director Leigh Holman. “It depicts a society of public shaming, gossip and the damage caused by this behavior … and offers hope and triumphant redemption.”

Indeed, the production takes great care to flesh out each character beyond the expectations of stereotypical baroque operas. And the impressive, multilevel unit set and carousel—including a stream in royal gardens and a throne room—lend themselves to movement among the principal characters, in fight scenes and more.

According to Holman, elements of the design of this production encapsulate a medieval fantasy concept, inspired by “Game of Thrones” and complemented by Molly Tiede’s lighting design that depicts both grand and intimate spaces, and ignites both haunting and celebratory moods.

Sword fighting, soldiers, ladies in waiting … jealousy, betrayal and love: it’s all here. Join us for “Ariodante!”

Sung in Italian with English surtitles, this production contains adult themes unsuitable for young children.