—line from Handel’s Serse which I saw last night at Haymarket Opera.
Here’s another one:
"One joy in love is worth more than a hundred turns of fortune."
Offhand I would say both are true, but here’s a caveat. The opera was sung in Italian and I’m reporting what I saw in the supertitles. When I was able to follow the Italian, it seemed that the translation was not literal and even a bit simplified or coarser than the original, but I was not able to follow when either of these lines were being projected, and I haven’t hunted a text for comparison’s sake.
The story was silly, the music wholly accessible (as Handel always seems to be), but you got the sense of a time when, though rulers might be imperfect and lovers unfaithful, humanity felt that it could do better and aimed higher.
We seem to have lost that in America.