Handel considered Theodorahis masterpiece. But when it was first performed in 1750 it was a flop. Yet, while the composer may or may not have received his reward in heaven after such critical disapprobation, today the work is recognised as, well, a masterpiece. Its poignant story of selfless love and Christian steadfastness in the face of Roman persecution ends with the soon-to-be-martyrs confident the virtuous shall receive their reward in heaven.

Peter Sellars’ ground-breaking 1996 Glyndebourne production of Theodorais the benchmark by which any new staging must be measured. I didn’t see this 2016 Pinchgut production directed by Lindy Hume, but it was by all accounts...