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ⓘ Alcina is an opera seria with music by George Frideric Handel. The libretto was written by Riccardo Broschi. The opera is based on an episode in Ludovico Ariost ..




Alcina
                                     

ⓘ Alcina

Alcina is an opera seria with music by George Frideric Handel. The libretto was written by Riccardo Broschi. The opera is based on an episode in Ludovico Ariostos Orlando furioso, an epic poem set in the time of Charlemagnes wars against Islam. Handel composed several little ballets in the opera for the famous dancer Marie Salle.

Alcina was first performed on 16 April 1735 at Covent Garden in London. It was revived in Germany in 1738. It was not performed again until 1928.

Joan Sutherland sang the role for her debut in Venice in 1960. She sang it again the same year in Dallas. She sang it at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 1962. Renee Fleming sang the role in Chicago in 1999.

                                     

1. Roles

  • Morgana, her sister - soprano
  • Alcina, a sorceress - soprano
  • Oberto, a boy searching for his father - boy soprano
  • Bradamante, Ruggieros fiancee - mezzo-soprano
  • Melisso, Ruggieros former tutor - bass
  • Oronte, Morganas lover - tenor
  • Ruggiero, a knight and Bradamentes fiance - mezzo-soprano castrato
                                     

2. Story

Alcina is a sorceress. She changes people into stones, trees, and animals. Bradamente lands on Alcinas island looking for her fiance Ruggiero. He has been enchanted by Alcina. He is in love with her.

Bradamente has a magic ring that allows her to break spells. She intends to use it to free Alcinas victims. She lets Ruggiero wear it. He sees at once that Alcina is a cruel enchantress and that her island is a desert.

Alcina is truly in love with Ruggiero. Her magic powers slip away. Bradamente and Ruggiero destroy an urn that is the source of Alcinas power. Alcinas world disappears. Her victims become humans again.

                                     

3. Other websites

  • Libretto from www.librettidopera.it
  • Summary Archived 2009-05-30 at the Wayback Machine from Opera-Opera.com Second section down
  • Archived 2012-04-15 at the Wayback Machine Video clip from Semperoper, November 2011 Dresden
  • Full score German Handel Society: Leipzig. 1868
                                     
  • This led to her appearance in Donizetti s Emilia di Liverpool and Handel s Alcina in 1957, and eventually the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor at the Royal
  • Johann Sebastian Bach, John Eliot Gardiner, English Baroque Soloists 2009: Alcina Georg Friedrich Handel, Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco 2008: Saul