Orlando paladino cancelled 1280x680 © Peter M. Mayr

performance cancelled!

According to the new COVID-19 Emergency Measures Ordinance, all events are prohibited until further notice.

The performances of Orlando paladino, which was scheduled for the 19 April 2021, can therefore unfortunately do not take place. We ask for your patience and our ticket office will contact you as soon as possible with further information about your tickets.

You can reach our ticket and subscription office from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the telephone number: +43 1 588 30-2903 as well as by email at info@theater-wien.at.

Dramma eroicomico per musica in three acts (1782)

Musik von Joseph Haydn

Libretto von Nunziato Porta

Opera in concert

Monday, 19 April 2021, 7 pm

Content / Background

During his lifetime, Joseph Haydn was the most famous composer in Europe. As kapellmeister to Prince Esterházy he spent a great deal of time, sometimes too much for his taste, at the prince’s country seat of Eszterháza. Despite this he was an artist with international connections. With the exception of his first opera, which is lost, and his last, L’anima del filosofo, a version of Orpheus and Eurydice that was not performed in his lifetime, Haydn wrote all his operas for the Esterházys’ theatre at which operas were continuously staged from 1776 onward. The prince also maintained an ensemble of top-class singers on permanent contracts. As kapellmeister Haydn was responsible for taking on works by other composers and from 1776 to 1790, when Prince Nikolaus died, he conducted a performance almost every third day, presiding over a total of ninety different operas at Eszterháza, including six of his own. In fact, Haydn was an experienced exponent of opera, but despite this his own operas are all but forgotten today. Haydn composed the dramma eroicomico Orlando paladino, an opera with heroic and comic elements, in anticipation of a visit from the Russian crown prince Paul. The libretto is based on Ludovico Ariosto’s epic poem Orlando furioso. The first performance, on 6 December, the prince’s name day, was one of Haydn’s greatest successes and in next to no time Orlando paladino became one of the most frequently performed operas in the last years of the 18th century. It was given thirty times in Eszterháza alone. Orlando, a knight and paladin of Charlemagne, has fallen in love with the beautiful Angelica, princess of Cathay. However, she rejects him because she has already lost her heart to the handsome Medoro who is gallantly courting her. Madness takes Orlando and he wants to kill Angelica and the whole world. The good sorceress Alcina intervenes to cure him of his madness. Haydn developed a multifaceted musical comedy from the love triangle of Orlando, Angelica and Medoro in which the heroic characters develop comic traits and the comic characters are marked by great melancholy.



René Jacobs


Thomas Walker


Robin Johannsen


Konstantin Krimmel


Sunhae Im


Sophie Harmsen


Mark Milhofer


Victor Torres

Licone / Caronte

Marcos Fink


Kammerorchester Basel