George Frideric Handel: Tamerlano [Tamberlaine]

(1582 words)

Tamerlano is one of Handel’s finest operas, unusual in its consistently tragic tone. Composed at the height of Handel’s Royal Academy opera success, it was the second of three masterpieces performed within the space of two seasons from 1724-5, along with Giulio Cesare and Rodelinda. Though it is now acknowledged by Handel scholars to be as great a masterpiece as the two other works, it was not always so. In 1970 the great Handel expert John Merrill Knapp noted that “The neglect of Tamerlano is strange. It has not only just as much fine music as the other two operas but also one of the first important tenor roles in operatic history” (Knapp, 406).

The subject of the opera has iconic status in …

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Alsop, Derek . "Tamerlano". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 June 2012
[, accessed 01 October 2016.]