[Looks like the Abercrombie spring preview is already out. – Sally Matthews (Deidamia) and Olga Pasichnyk (Achille) in Handel’s “Deidamia”, Amsterdam 2012. – Photo Credit: Ruth Walz for Nederlandse Opera]
Handel’s “Deidamia”, in addition to being Handel’s not-quite-ariodantesque swan song to Italian seria, is one just one of many operas based on the Achill-hiding-as-a-girl-among-girls-whoops-seduced-the-princess-because-of-course-(s)he-did plot that Metastasio made especially prominent with his 1736 libretto on the materila (“Achille in Sciro”).
Throughout the 18th century, it’s often been staged with women singers, particularly as the idea of a male singer hiding out in female clothing started to make newly biologist gender wards nervous. Now that should be objected to, from a feminist viewpoint (why would anyone in skirts be automatically linked to a degradation of power? Yes, patriarchy, I know, but ideally, this would be a rhetorical question to be scoffed at). On the other hand, I do not complain about about a result that offers us the visual of two women making out, be it both of them in skirts or one of them in pants. And a football jersey (is that even a football jersey?).