|by George Frideric Handel|
16 April 1735
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 Ariosto's Orlando furioso, an epic poem set in the time of Charlemagne's wars against Islam. Handel composed several little ballets in the opera for the famous dancer Marie Sallé.
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. Renée Fleming sang the role in Chicago in 1999.
Roles[change | change source]
- Alcina, a sorceress - soprano
- Morgana, her sister - soprano
- Oberto, a boy searching for his father - boy soprano
- Ruggiero, a knight and Bradamente's fiancé - mezzo-soprano castrato
- Bradamante, Ruggiero's fiancée - mezzo-soprano
- Oronte, Morgana's lover - tenor
- Melisso, Ruggiero's former tutor - bass
Story[change | change source]
Alcina is a sorceress. She changes people into stones, trees, and animals. Bradamente lands on Alcina's island looking for her fiancé 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 Alcina's 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 Alcina's power. Alcina's world disappears. Her victims become humans again.
References[change | change source]
- Dean, Winton (2006), Handel's Operas, 1726-1741, Boydell Press, ISBN 1-84383-268-2 (The second of the two volume definitive reference on the operas of Handel)
Other websites[change | change source]
- Libretto from www.librettidopera.it
- Summary Archived 2009-05-30 at the Wayback Machine from Opera-Opera.com (Second section down)
-  Archived 2007-10-07 at the Wayback Machine from Bayerische Staatsoper (Bavarian State Opera). Video clip
-  Archived 2012-04-15 at the Wayback Machine Video clip from Semperoper, November 2011 Dresden
- Full score (German Handel Society: Leipzig. 1868)