This delicious piece set in colonial times and sung in Italian shows off the best of Handel. McVicar has adapted this opera as metaphor for the best and worst of a conquering hero while not taking the whole venture too seriously. All of the principal singers were fabulous in displaying superb flourishes and embellishments that are Handel's trademark. The three counter tenors delivered excellent acting as well as singing skills. Natalie Dessay was romantic and playful while very skillful in her mastery of the score. Bickett as conductor clearly revels in this composer's work It was an all encompassing delight.

Unfortunately I was sitting near several people who simply could not "handle" the counter tenor voices. While it might take a bit of open mindedness to get used to and thoroughly enjoy this effect their talking over the singing was very rude. They shut up when I confronted them.