Opera seria (1737)
Music by Georg Friedrich Händel


Libretto based on a literary model by Nicolò Beregan and Pietro Pariati
In Italian language with German surtitles
New production of the Theater an der Wien in the Kammeroper



The goddess of fortune Fortuna promises the farmer Giustino honour, fame and wealth, should he dare to go out into the world. He follows this promise and, because he is protecting a young woman from a bear, gets to Byzantium, where Emperor Anastasio rules. It turns out that Giustino saved the Emperor's sister, Leocasta, who falls in love with her rescuer. But the emperor also needs help, because he is threatened by his general Amanzio, who himself would like to become emperor, and by the tyrant Vitaliano, who reigns in Asia Minor. His wife Arianna has just been kidnapped by Vitaliano. Giustino is chosen to move out with Anastasio to liberate the empress. Arianna, captured by Vitaliano, refuses to marry him in spite of his good looks, whereupon he lets her take her to the lonely island where Giustino and Anastasio have just been stranded. Giustino can save the empress there from a voracious sea monster. Together they return to Byzantium, where Anastasio can already be celebrated as the winner. In the meantime Giustino has succeeded in overpowering Vitaliano and shows him to the emperor. He is to be imprisoned, but manages to escape. Arianna gives Giustino a valuable belt for his heroic deeds, which she herself once received from the emperor. When the jealous emperor hears about it from Amanzio, he has Giustino sentenced to death and violates Arianna. But Leocasta manages to free her beloved Giustino. Amanzio now sees himself close to his goal of being able to ascend the throne. Giustino on the other hand is desperate. He begins to doubt Fortuna and falls asleep. So Vitaliano finds him, but a supernatural voice prevents him from killing Giustino. The two recognize that they are brothers and rush together to Byzantium, where they can just prevent the emperor, who was overthrown by Amanzio, from being executed. All well and good: the emperor returns to his throne and reconciles with Arianna. Giustino receives Leocasta as his wife and is appointed co-regent. Fortuna's saying has been fulfilled. 

Program and cast

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December 2019 Next

Theater an der Wien

About the Theater an der Wien

The New Opera House is not just any theatre, but the one that Emanuel Schikaneder, the all-round genius, actor, impresario with a flair for organization but above all librettist of The Magic Flute, had built in 1801 in Vienna in keeping with the spirit of Mozart.

To coincide with the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth the Theater an der Wien presents itself as a new opera house from January 2006. As a “season” opera house with productions all the year round the Theater an der Wien carves a new and independent niche in the realm of high-quality culture in Vienna. For twelve months of the year, with one premiere every month, opera will be performed under the “stagione”, or season, system: that means the cast remains unchanged from the first performance to the last one, which guarantees that the very highest international standards are maintained.

The theatre’s modern, accessible approach to music theatre as demonstrated by the works performed, the overall artistic concept Bespielung and the artistes is further underlined by the building itself, its architecture and the vibrancy of its location. The surroundings and materials, the intimate atmosphere and perfect acoustics in the historical theatre prepare the senses to experience beauty. The Theater an der Wien deliberately enters into a symbiotic relationship with its lively surroundings on the Naschmarkt street market and the young cultural scene centred in the Schleifmühl quarter.

How to get there

With public transport:

We can be reached by public transport: 

U1, U2 und U4 Station Karlsplatz, Exit Secession
Bus 59A Station Bärenmühldurchgang
Bus 57A Station Laimgrubengasse, pedestrians via Laimgrubengasse to Linke Wienzeile

Fleischmarkt 24, 1010 Wien

We can be reached by public transport:
U1, U4: Station Schwedenplatz
Tram Linie D (bei Ablenukung über Kai), 1, 2: Station Schwedenplatz
Bus 3A (on workdays)

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