Most recent performance
There are currently no scheduled performances of L’Ormindo. It was last on stage 3 February—5 March 2015 as part of the Winter 2014/15 season.
Princes Ormindo and Amidas have fallen in love with Erisbe, wife of the elderly King Ariadenus. Meanwhile Princess Sicle, Amidas’s spurned lover, plots to get Amidas back, enlisting her old nurse Eryka as an ally.
Eryka tells Amidas Sicle has died of grief. Amidas feels terrible, and is overjoyed when he discovers Sicle is in fact alive. Ormindo and Erisbe elope but are captured by Ariadenus, who sentences them both to death. It emerges that Ormindo is Ariadenus' long lost son. Ariadenus frees Erisbe to marry Ormindo and embraces Ormindo as his successor.
Discover a gem of the Baroque opera repertory in the intimate surroundings of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, the Jacobean theatre at Shakespeare’s Globe. The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse opened in January 2014, providing an exquisite, 350-seat venue evoking the candlelit theatres of Shakespeare’s day. Kasper Holten’s production of L’Ormindo, a unique collaboration between the Royal Opera House and Shakespeare’s Globe, was the first opera to be performed at the theatre and was acclaimed by critics and public.
Holten’s inventive new staging draws on the stagecraft and theatrical tricks of the 17th century to bring to life a comic tale of sex, disguise and deception. First performed in Venice in 1644, Francesco Cavalli's L’Ormindo follows the trials and tribulations of two pairs of lovers in the ancient kingdom of Mauretania. The opera’s mixture of lively comedy, sublime romance and gorgeous music makes for an unforgettable experience.
News and features
3 February 2015
Our quick guide to Cavalli’s ingenious comedy, staged in the beautiful candlelit setting of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe.
7 January 2015
From a converted tramshed to a Suffolk beach, opera is spreading its wings.
17 October 2014
With artworks hostage to fashion and cultural sentiment, why a little digging might unearth a new classic.
27 March 2014
Seven Royal Opera productions will be broadcast including Die Frau ohne Schatten, Faust and Manon Lescaut.
26 March 2014
What did you think of Kasper Holten's Royal Opera production at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse?
18 March 2014
We explore a very special duet from Francesco Cavalli's baroque opera.
Ormindo was first performed in 1644 at the Teatro San Cassiano, Venice, the word's first public opera house. After its 1644 run, it was probably not revived until 1967 when it was performed at Glyndebourne Festival Opera. The version presented at Glyndebourne was arranged and conducted by Raymond Leppard. The work received its American premiere in 1968 in a performance at the Juilliard School supervised by Leppard. Subsequently it was performed by the Washington Opera Society, using Juilliard's sets and Costumes. Singers were as follows: Amida -John Reardon; Erice - Michael Best; Ormindo - Frank Poretta; Sicle -Evelyn Mandac; Erisbe- Benita Valente. Although taken up by the State Opera of South Australia and staged in 1980, the opera remains something of a rarity. A recent performance was by the Pittsburgh Opera in February, 2007, using a new performing edition by Peter Foster. It was conducted by Bernard McDonald and directed by Chas Rader-Shieber. Peter Foster's edition was also used by The Harvard Early Music Society in its November, 2008 performance of the work, conducted by Matthew Hall and directed by Roy Kimmey. The Baylor University School of Music performed the work in English on November 21-22, 2008 under the direction of Dr. Michael Johnson with conductor Dr. Andrew Hudson. It was performed by Pinchgut Opera of Sydney in December 2009. The Royal Opera staged a new production, in an English translation, directed by Kasper Holten at Shakespeare's Globe in March 2014 - the first opera production at the newly opened Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. This production was revived the following year (in February 2015) at the same venue. The Royal Irish Academy of Music based in Dublin presented the first Irish production of the opera in January 2015 directed by Ben Barnes and conducted by David Adams.