The first production of Ariodante in 1735 opened a new phase of Handel’s opera-writing career. The sensational success of John Gay’s parody of Italian opera, The Beggar’s Opera of 1728, had been allowed, by some, to have had a greater impact on the musical life of London than it deserved. Alexander Pope, in a footnote to his 1729 Variorum edition of the Dunciad, celebrated the success of his friend’s play, claiming: “it drove out of England the Italian Opera, which had carry’d all before it for ten years” (Pope, 190). By 1735 Pope had had to change his annotation to read: “it drove out of England for that season the Italian Opera” (Pope, 190).…
Alsop, Derek . "Ariodante". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 June 2012; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=34240, accessed 27 April 2015.]