is an opera by George Frideric Handel
composed in 1711, and was the first Italian language opera
written specifically for the London stage. The libretto
was prepared by Giacomo Rossi
from a scenario provided by Aaron Hill
, and the work was first performed at the Queen's Theatre
in London's Haymarket
on 24 February
The story of love, battle and redemption set at the time of the First Crusade is loosely based on Torquato Tasso's epic poem Gerusalemme liberata ("Jerusalem Delivered"), and its staging involved many original and vivid effects.
The opera was a great success with the public, despite negative reactions from literary critics hostile to the contemporary trend towards Italian entertainment in English theatres. Rinaldo was the most frequently performed of all Handel's musical dramas during his lifetime. However, after 1731 the opera was not staged for more than 200 years.
Following a successful run at New York's Metropolitan Opera in 1984, performances and recordings of the work have become more frequent worldwide. Despite the lack of a standard edition, with its spectacular vocal and orchestral passages Rinaldo has been cited as one of Handel's greatest operas. Of its individual numbers the soprano aria "Lascia ch'io pianga" has become a particular favourite and is a popular concert piece.
A self-portrait of Louis-Marie Autissier (1772–1830), a French-born Belgian portrait miniature painter. He is considered the founder of the Belgian school of miniature painting in the nineteenth century. Born at Vannes, in Brittany, he joined the French Revolutionary Army at Rennes in 1791. On leaving the army in 1795, Autissier went to Paris and trained his art by studying paintings at the Louvre. In 1796 he settled in Brussels, but continued to divide his time between Belgium, the Netherlands, and France. Although he enjoyed great success in his career, serving as court painter to Louis Napoleon, French King of the Netherlands, and later to Willem I, Autissier died penniless.