The Matthew Bucksbaum Family Lyric Opera Broadcasts of the 2011/12 Lyric Opera of Chicago season continue on Classical 90.5 this Saturday, June 23, at noon with a performance of Rinaldo by George Friderich Handel. The libretto was prepared by Giacomo Rossi from a scenario provided by Aaron Hill. The performance will run approximately three hours and forty minutes.

With Jerusalem as the prize, General Goffredo and his chief knight Rinaldo are battling it out with King Argante. But the king’s lover and ally is the sorceress Armida — and she uses every trick in her arsenal to help win the war. It's fortunate that Rinaldo has some supernatural reinforcements of his own.

Handel wanted to make it big in England, and he did just that with Rinaldo. For the first time he specified sorcery and magic in the plot — hiring an illustrious producer to bring it off, and booking a megastar for the lead. Rinaldo was also the first Italian language opera written specifically for the London stage. Three hundred years later, Harry Bicket conducts the Lyric's production. Michael Black is the chorus master.

Rinaldo: David Daniels
Almirena: Julia Kleiter
Armida: Elza van den Heever
Argante: Luca Pisaroni
Goffredo: Sonia Prina
Eustazio: Iestyn Davies