Guilio Cesare

Ken Howard / Metropolitan Opera

If you're older than thirty you may know something of the unlikely and extremely rare probability of a baroque opera being performed at the Metropolitan Opera. This was sometime in the late eighties, but in musical terms seems a lifetime ago.

To quote Inspector Morse, the opera loving sleuth, "I was horrified to discover that the tickets I had received for Wagner were in fact for Handel!"

I can think of no opera composer of the first rank who has undergone so radical a transformation of fortune as Handel.