Opera In Three Acts.
On his death, the king of Lombardy has divided his kingdom between his two sons, giving Milan to Bertarido and Pavia to Gundeberto. The brothers go to war over the inheritance, Gundeberto with the help of his sister, Eduige, and Grimoaldo, to whom Eduige is promised as a reward for his assistance. Gundeberto is killed in circumstances that hint at treachery, and Grimoaldo seizes both thrones for himself. Bertarido escapes into Hungary, leaving his wife, Rodelinda and son, Flavio behind, and persuades the king of Hungary to confirm his death in a letter to Grimoaldo. The usurper has fallen in love meanwhile with Bertarido's 'widow'.