Author(s): Georg Friedrich Handel
Company: Opera North
Running time: 3h 00min approx
Alcina is the story of an enchantress who uses her magical powers to bewitch the young knight Ruggiero and keep him captive on her island.
On Alcina’s island, nothing is as it seems. Alcina (soprano Máire Flavin) is an enchantress who transforms her discarded lovers into non-human form, and her island is a barren wasteland whose apparent beauty is maintained only by her powers of illusion. When Bradamante (mezzo-soprano Mari Askvik) arrives on the island in disguise, intent on reclaiming her fiancé Ruggiero (countertenor Patrick Terry), Alcina’s magic is tested to breaking point.
Directed by Tim Albery, Opera North’s new production challenges the historical conventions of women playing male roles and plays with gender fluidity. Designer Hannah Clark has stepped up to a different, environmental challenge: to make a production in which nothing that appears on stage is newly purchased. Baroque specialist Laurence Cummings conducts Handel’s music, overseeing the proceedings in this troubled (but sustainable) island paradise.