Partenope – Handel

‘Amanda Holden’s racy new rhyming translation… provokes laughter and is easily audible.’
Evening Standard

‘The other main reason for Partenope’s success was Amanda Holden’s translation of the libretto. Sticking closely to the original would have struck a false note. Instead, sly contemporary references and occasional profanities heightened the opera’s comic universality.’
The Australian

This translation was commissioned by ENO for Christopher Alden’s `1920s Paris salon’ production which opened in September 2008. The cast included Rosemary Joshua, Christine Rice, Patricia Bardon, Iestyn Davies and John Mark Ainsley; it was conducted by Christian Curnyn.

The show won the Olivier Award for Best Opera Production of the 2008/9 season. It was a joint production between ENO and Opera Australia; it opened, revived by Alden and Curnyn, at the Sydney Opera House in March 2011 with Emma Matthews in the title role.

Partenope programme 2008

Aria – Qual farfaletto giro a quel lume…

I am as flighty as moths in moonlight,
but not as stupid
as my friend Cupid,
he  plays with fire.
When I discover one faithful lover,
I‘ll never doubt him;
something about him
will spark my desire.

Aria – Nobil core, che ben ama….

Faithful lovers wisely ponder
that if fancy never wanders,
they’ll achieve a life sublime.
Constancy’s a thing to cherish;
truthful love need never perish
e’en until the end of time.

Musician and Writer