The manuscript additions to the accompaniments of three of the most famous numbers appear to be unrecorded: 'Lascia ch'io pianga' (p.40), 'Vò far guerra' (p.49) and 'Bel piacere' (p.59). An otherwise identical 65-page score was issued a month earlier with an English title (although the opera is in Italian throughout). Both copies of the 'Arie' in the British Library contain a later 67-page issue. The only complete copy of the first Italian issue, as recorded by Smith, was sold at Sotheby's on 17 December 1951, lot 96, from the Glazebrook Collection. All three 1711 issues are rare at auction. This is essentially the first edition with a new Italian text-panel inserted into the title-page engraving: the freshness of the engraving suggests an early use of the original plates.
The opera also contains another aria that Handel declared to be one of his finest: 'Cara sposa' (p.26). Handel's Rinaldo was not only his first opera for London, but also the first Italian opera specifically composed there. It caused a sensation when it opened on 24 February 1711, attracting famous critical reviews about the castrato Nicolini and the extravagant staging from Addison and Steele in The Spectator.
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