St Martins Lane, London WC2N 4ES

Partenope Poster


Closed March 24, 2017

Superb… ENO's reputation as a Handel house is now even higher

Sunday Telegraph

Why See Partenope?

The revisionist Handel comic Opera returns!

Handel's comedic cross-dressing opera sees the pursuit of one woman by four suitors, ironically one of them being a woman herself! This 2009 Olivier Award-winning production by revisionist opera director Christopher Alden returns to the ENO for the 2017 season, with the action brought forward to the Surrealist 1920s. Christian Curnyn conducts, with Alden once again helming the production and Sarah Tynan singing the titular role.

What is it about?

With the action brought forward from Ancient Greece to 1920s Paris, the Queen Partenope is now re-imagined as a successful salon owner, who is wooed by three different suitors. One of these suitors, Arsace jilted his lover Rosmira in order to pursue the glamorous Parisian; however, Rosmira isn't determined to lose him to another woman that easily. So in a flash of inspiration, she disguises herself as a man, and joins the pursuit of Partenope alongside her former lover and two others - just so she can win him back. Of course, with another horse in the race, affairs of the heart are just about to get that more complicated.....

In all versions of this comic Handel work, the focus remains on its use of soaring arias and wonderful ensemble singing, especially with the comedic quartet in the third act, something unusual for a Handel Opera.
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Additional Information


Opening night: 15 March 2017


Suitable for ages 12+

Run time


And before you stop reading

Sung in English, with surtitles projected above the stage

Cast and Creative


Sarah Tynan as Partenope
Patricia Bardon as Arsace
James Laing as Armindo
Robert Murray as Emilio


Conducted by Christian Curnyn
Directed by Christopher Alden
Set Design by Andrew Lieberman
Costume Design by Jon Morrell
Lighting Design by Adam Silverman
Translated by Amanda Holden

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