On 8th January 1735 at the Covent Garden in London, Georg Friederich Handel presented his new opera Ariodante on a libretto by Antonio Salvi adapted by Paolo Rolli and inspired by Ariosto. The opera did not immediately win public favour and thus failed to furnish a definitive solution for the fate of Handel's company, but with time it was to be understood and appreciated and has remained on playbills among the more successful and interesting titles. Handel's particular attention to the expressive aspect was most probably the reason for the opera's limited commercial success: the characters fit only partially into the customary types of opera of the day. The tendency to formulate autonomous patterns in the expressive genre is also underlined by an illustrious contemporary, John Mainwaring, in his Memoirs of the life of George Frederick Handel. Extraordinary is also the strength of the instrumental composition, which again in Ariodante is intended now as support to the voices now as ...