Netia jones

You’ll shrug where you should marvel: Garsington’s Amadigi reviewed

When you think of Handel’s Amadigi (in so far as anyone thinks about the composer’s rarely staged, also-ran London score at all) it’s as a magic-opera. Sorcerers and sorceresses do battle in a fantasy land not found on any map. The stage directions alone are enough to stir the commercial loins of any 18th-century impresario. Enchanted palaces are ‘split asunder’, caves transformed into ‘beautiful palaces’, monsters ‘ascend from the bowels of the Earth’ and a chariot ‘descends covered in clouds’. All of which originally took place in full view of an audience so beguiled by illusion that even the Georgians’ rather more informal attitude to health and safety was tested,