Opera seria in three acts by George Frideric Handel
Text probably by Nicola Francesco Haym
In Italian language with German surtitles
On May 25, 1715, Amadigi, the fifth London opera by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), was premiered at the King's Theatre in Haymarket. The libretto of the magic opera, which enjoyed great popularity, was probably written by Nicola Francesco Haym, who was responsible for nearly a dozen of the texts on which Handel's operas were based. It is based on the five-act Tragédie lyrique Amadis de Grèce by the French poet Antoine Houdar de la Motte. Due to its small cast, Amadigi has been called the most personal opera of the baroque composer. In the context of the Frankfurt premiere, the audience of the Bockenheimer Depot is in the middle of the stage.
The Gallic prince Amadigi and Dardano, prince of Thrace, are trapped in the realm of the sorceress Melissa and plan their escape. Both are in love with Oriana, who is also in Melissa's captivity. Dardano betrays his rival so that the latter cannot escape. The sorceress tries in vain to seduce Amadigi. After passing the test, Oriana and Amadigi are happily united for a short time before being separated again. The hopeless Amadigi laments his misery to a deceptive source, who tells him of Oriana's infidelity, whereupon he loses consciousness. A quarrel ensues between Amadigi and Oriana, who thought him dead. Melissa is just able to prevent Amadigi's suicide. She gives Dardano the form of Amadigi so that he can approach Oriana and she can reconcile with her supposed lover. Melissa threatens her competitor, but the plans of the vengeful sorceress do not work out - after losing her magic power, she takes her own life.