Feuding parties are cut down to size in this likeable production for the country opera house by director Robert Carsen, who has a gift for charm. (His production of Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream delighted audiences at English National Opera last year.)
A tale of love and heroism of dizzying complexity, Rinaldo is packed with marvellous music. So never mind if you can't tell remember which one is which out of Armida, Almirena and Argante: just enjoy the tongue-in-cheek staging with a jolly-hockey-sticks school backdrop.
Counter-tenor Tim Mead returns to sing Goffredo. Photo: Bill Cooper
First staged in 2011, and very successfully revived in 2014, Rinaldo is set to amuse audiences for a third time this summer. And there is a bonus in the casting: the terrific counter-tenor Tim Mead returns to sing the Crusader Goffredo.
American mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong, much admired last year at Glyndebourne as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, makes a welcome return in the title role, which would originally have been sung by a castrato. The cast also includes Jakub Józef Orliński (Eustazio), Giulia Semenzato (Almirena) and Brandon Cedel (Argante).
Maxim Emelyanychev conducts, and with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in the pit, you can expect the playing to go with a swing.
Listen out for Almirena's meltingly lovely aria long before the happy ending: 'Lascia ch'io pianga' – 'Let me weep'.
'Rinaldo' is sung in Italian with English surtitles. General booking opens 6PM, Sunday 3 March.
|Rinaldo, Glyndebourne Festival Opera
|Glyndebourne, Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 5UU | MAP
08 Aug 19 – 25 Aug 19, eight performances; times vary. Running time 4hr 45min, including long dinner interval
|Click here for more information and booking