by Handel


More recordings of Theodora

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Handel's dramatic oratorio Theodora had its premiere on March 16, 1750. The story is about Christian martyrs in ancient Rome.

The DVD version of the staged Glyndebourne production (1996) was released in late June 2004 at and

Theodora DVD,

Glyndebourne CD,
Glyndebourne CD,

A recording of Theodora conducted by Nicholas McGegan with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson in the title role can be ordered from

David Daniels includes four of Didymus's arias from Theodora in his album Oratorio Arias. Daniels "rejoices in the wonderful music Handel composed for the young Italian castrato, Gaetano Guadagni, who 12 years after the first performance was to achieve immortality as Gluck's first Orfeo. Handel must have been entranced by this voice in 1750--he only occasionally used castratos in his Biblical oratorios--for in 'The raptur'd soul', 'Kind Heav'n' and the delectable 'Sweet Rose andLilly' he exploits the androgynous voluptuousness of the male alto voice to a degree found only in his finest Italian operas. The sensuous colours of Daniels' falsetto are ideal in this music, which he sings with beguiling erotic amibguity," wrote Hugh Canning in the September 2002 issue of Gramophone. The recording is available from and from

July 2003
Warner Classics has recently released a recording of Handel's Theodora with Les Arts Florissants conducted by William Christie, on the Erato Disques label. Among the soloists are Sophie Daneman, Daniel Taylor, Richard Croft, and Nathan Berg. The recording can be ordered from .

"Soprano Sophie Daneman sang the title role with a sweet, virginal timbre. Her rendering of 'Angels ever bright and fair' was ineffably beautiful," wrote reviewer Philip Anson at of a May 2000 performance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.


Boston Baroque performed Theodora at Jordan Hall in Boston on May 2 and 3, 2003, at 8 p.m. Among the soloists were Sharon Baker, Mary Phillips, David Walker, and Michael Dean.

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