I knew some of the music (from "Semele," "Ariodante," "Les Indes Galantes" and "Griselda") but could actually place only one at the time, the finale of "L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato." But that was enough, as I could feel the appropriation, and approve of it. Here as in the original work, it comes at a moment of resolution, and feeling the pathos of the other work (one of my favorite pieces in music) flow into this one deepened the experience.
For most of the viewers, most if not all of the music will have been delightful new discoveries. (For instance there's some amazing nearly atonal work from one of Handel's Marian cantatas - who knew there were such!) The pastiche-y part will have been felt and approved instead in the storyline, which weaves together Shakespeare's "Tempest" and "Midsummer Night's Dream." How can you do that, you ask? And yet they did, and it didn't feel cheap or tacky but like spending more time with old friends, learning more about them. Pastiche, because of its postmodern uses, sounds frivolous, but "Enchanted Island" shows it can be profound play.
The performance was sold out (and not just, I think, because you could hear what my Japanese housemate called なまドミンゴ namadomingo - Placido Domingo live - in the part of Neptune). I hope it enters the repertoire, spawns imitations, and maybe even a revival of some of these old operas, like Vivaldi's "Griselda."