Radamisto synopsis 1720

Radamisto synopsis 1720

Radamisto är en heroisk barockopera vars egentliga tema är den äktenskapliga troheten. Radamistos och Zenobias kärlek får en kontrapunkt i Polissenas öde. Hon är styckets verkliga hjältinna, som trots alla prövningar förmår förlåta sin otrogne tyrann till make. Han har henne rent av att tacka för sitt liv. Operans största succénummer blev arian ”Ombra cara di mia sposa”) (”Älskade skugga av min hustru”) i akt två, där Radamisto sörjer sin maka som han tror är död. Gripande vackra är även Radamistos och Zenobias båda duetter, som är placerade på två mycket betydelsefulla ställen i operan (slutet av akt II och akt III).

Händel satte stort värde på såväl lysande sångpartier som briljant orkestrering. Orkestern domineras här förutom av oboerna och fagotten även av flöjter, trumpeter och horn.

Radamisto synopsis 1720

Akt I

Armeniens kung Tiridate, som är gift med Polissena, har förälskat sig i Zenobia. Hon i sin tur är gift med Trakiens kung Radamisto som är bror till Polissena. För att vinna Zenobia förklarar Tiridate krig mot Trakien, men innan han intar huvudstaden lyckas Radamisto och Zenobia fly. Tiridate sänder ut sin fältherre Tigrane att leta efter dem. Polissena bönfaller honom att skona hennes bror.

Akt II

Under flykten försöker Zenobia dränka sig i en flod för att inte falla i svågerns händer, och Radamisto tillfångatas av Tigrane. Zenobia påträffas av några soldater och förs till Tiridate, som friar till henne, men hon säger nej trots att hon får veta att Radamisto är död. Denne har förklädd till tjänare kommit till slottet med Tigranes hjälp. Han gör ett misslyckat försök att mörda Tiridate och slås i bojor med sin hustru, men än en gång får de hjälp av Tigrane.


Tigrane har inlett ett uppror mot den tyranniske kungen som avsätts men tas till nåder av sin försmådda gemål, och allt slutar lyckligt.


Place: Armenia, Temple of Garni
Time: 53 A.D.

Act 1 

Statue of Tiridates I of Armenia in the park of the Palace of Versailles

In the royal tent outside the city, Polissena, desperately unhappy, prays to the gods to help her in her sorrow (”Sommi Dei”). She is married to Tiridate, King of Armenia, but he has conceived a mad passion for another woman, Zenobia, who is married to Polissena’s brother, Prince Radamisto, heir to the throne of the neighbouring kingdom of Thrace. Fraarte, Tiridate’s brother, and Tigrane, an ally of Tiridate, come to Polissena and tell her that such is her husband’s obsession with his sister-in-law Zenobia that he has declared war on the kingdom and is besieging the city, all so he can satisfy his desire for her. Fraarte and Tigrane advise Queen Polissena to forget about her husband (”Deh! fuggi un traditore”) and console herself with Tigrane (”L’ingrato non amar”), who is in love with her, but Polissena is not interested. Tiridate enters and tells his wife to leave; King Farasmane of Thrace, her father, is brought to Tiridate in chains, having been captured in the battle and Tiridate warns he will be put to death unless Zenobia is given to him. Polissena pleads for mercy, but Tiridate dismisses her (”Tu vuoi ch’io parta”).

In the camp of Tiridate, Radamisto and Zenobia have come to try to negotiate the release of King Farasmene, Radamisto’s father. Tiridate threatens to kill Farasmene unless they surrender the city (”Con la strage de’ nemici”). Radamisto and Zenobia are anguished (”Cara sposa, amato bene”). In order to prevent further bloodshed, Zenobia offers herself to Tiridate (”Son contenta di morire”), leaving Radamisto torn (”Perfido, di a quell’empio tiranno”) but Farasmene says he prefers to die rather than live by the sacrifice of his daughter-in-law’s honour (”Son lievi le catene”).

In front of Tiridate’s palace, he is greeted as he returns victorious from the battle. Radamisto and Zenobia have escaped and King Farasmene will be held hostage until they are found. Polissena rebukes her husband Tiridate for his dishonourable behaviour and his adulterous pursuit of his sister-in-law but his only response is to tell her to keep quiet (”Segni di crudeltà”). Tigrane again presses his attentions on her, but Polissena rejects him and can only hope that happier times lie ahead (”Dopo l’orride procelle”).

Act 2 

Nicolas Poussin – Queen Zenobia Found on the Banks of the Araxes

In the countryside by the river Araxes, Radamisto and Zenobia are fleeing from Tiridate and his army. Zenobia is at the end of her endurance; Tiridate is waging war and shedding blood all in the attempt to satisfy his lust for her (”Vuol ch’io serva”). It seems to her the best thing would be her death and then his cruelty would cease. She asks her husband to kill her; he tries to stab her as she asks but cannot bring himself to inflict more than a slight wound whereupon she jumps into the river. Radamisto is captured by Tigrane and his men who offer to take him to his sister Polissena. Radamisto is grief-stricken by what he assumes to be his wife’s death and prays for peace for her soul (”Ombra cara di mia sposa”). In fact Zenobia has been rescued from drowning by Fraarte; Zenobia is still full of fury towards Tiridate (”Già che morir non posso”), even as Fraarte tries to console her (”Lascia pur amica spene”).

In the garden of Tiridate’s palace, Zenobia is led in by Fraarte and presented to Tiridate, who still passionately desires her (”Sì che ti renderai”). Her only concern is trying to find out her husband’s whereabouts (”Fatemi, oh Cieli, almen”). In fact, Radamisto is now in the same palace, having been brought to his sister Queen Polissena by Tigrane, who is hoping that the conflict can now be resolved (”La sorte, il Ciel amor”). Radamisto wants to assassinate Tiridate but Polissena loves her husband despite everything and refuses to take part in such a plot, leaving Radamisto furious at her faithfulness to a tyrant (”Vanne, sorella ingrata”).

Inside the palace, Zenobia is still mourning her fate (”Che farà quest’alma mia”) while Tiridate continues to harass her with his desires. Tigrane brings them the false news that Radamisto has died, and presents Radamisto’s supposed servant,”Ismeno”, really Radamisto himself in disguise, who relates Radamisto’s last words. Zenobia recognises her husband’s voice, and when the two of them are left alone, she and Radamisto sing of their love for each other (”Se teco vive il cor”)

Act 3 

Outside the palace, Tigrane and Fraarte agree that Tiridate’s monstrous tyranny must be stopped (”S’adopri il braccio armato”). Tigrane, recognising the hopelessness of his love for Polissena, perseveres nonetheless (”So ch’è vana la speranza”).

In a room of the palace, Zenobia is concerned that her husband’s disguise will be seen through and he seeks to allay her fears (”Dolce bene di quest’alma”). He hides as Tiridate comes in and again attempts to seduce Zenobia. Radamisto emerges from hiding as Polissena and Farasmene also enter, preventing Tiridate from molesting Zenobia, but Farasmane recognises his son Radamisto and calls him by name. Tiridate orders Radamisto to be executed, leaving Radamisto (”Vile! se mi dai vita”) and Zenobia outraged at his tyranny (”Barbaro! partirò, ma sdegno poi verrà”). Despite the pleas of his wife Polissena, whose love for her husband is turning to hatred, Tiridate stays firm. Radamisto and Zenobia take a tearful farewell of each other (”Deggio dunque, oh Dio, lasciarti” and ”Qual nave smarrita”).

Inside a temple, Tiridate is determined to marry Zenobia despite everything. Polissena brings him news that the army, led by Tigrane and Fraarte, has mutinied and the people have rebelled. Surrounded by his enemies, Tiridate now sees the error of his ways. He releases Zenobia and Radamisto, who celebrate their reunion (”Non ho più affanni”), asks forgiveness from his wife, and vows to rule for the benefit of his people for the rest of his life. All celebrate the fortunate turn of events


Musik: Georg Friedrich Händel|Text: Nicola Haym


Uruppförande: London, Kings Theatre 27 april 1720

Roller och rösttyper

Roll Rösttyp
Farasmane bas
Fraarte sopran
Polissena sopran
Radamisto alt
Tigrane sopran
Tiridate bas
Zenobia sopran


Mer att läsa