"Dopo Notte" from Ariodante

Georg Friedrich Händel
Duration: 8'

"Dopo Notte, atra e funesta" is a celebrated aria from the opera "Ariodante," composed by George Frideric Handel. The opera was first performed in 1735 at the Covent Garden Theatre in London. "Ariodante" is based on the episodic Italian epic "Orlando Furioso" by Ludovico Ariosto, which intertwines numerous adventure stories from the Carolingian and Arthurian legends.

The aria "Dopo Notte" is sung by the title character, Ariodante, in the third act, after he has overcome a series of trials and misunderstandings that had threatened his love for Ginevra, the daughter of the King of Scotland. The words "Dopo Notte, atra e funesta" mean "After a dark and gloomy night" and symbolize Ariodante's relief and joy that his honor and love have been restored.

Musically, "Dopo Notte" is a virtuosic and lively aria that challenges the singer with intricate coloraturas and a wide vocal range. The aria is characterized by its ascending runs and radiant melody, symbolizing Ariodante's triumphant return to happiness and love. It is a highlight of the opera and exemplifies Handel's ability to convey deep emotions through music.