Opera

Handel's Alcina

Adrian Noble, Marc Minkowski – Anja Harteros (Alcina), Veronica Cangemi (Morgana), Vesselina Kasarova (Ruggiero)... – Wiener Staatsoper

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Cast

Adrian Noble — Stage director

Anthony Ward — Set and costume design

Jean Kalman — Lighting designer

Sue Lefton — Choreographer

Anja Harteros — Alcina

Verónica Cangemi — Morgana

Vesselina Kasarova — Ruggiero

Kristina Hammarström — Bradamante

Alois Mühlbacher — Oberto

Benjamin Bruns — Oronte

Adam Plachetka — Melisso

Wiener Staatsballett

Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble

Marc Minkowski — Conductor

Program notes

Experience director Adrian Noble's and conductor Marc Minkowski’s acclaimed 2011 production of Handel's Alcina in the Wiener Staatsoper. Re-imagining the classic opera as a play-within-a-play, this Alcina is staged in late 18th century London by the famous British Duchess Georgiana Cavendish and her friends. A fascinating few hours of baroque delights!

The story of Alcina unfolds on an enchanted island where Alcina, a powerful sorceress and her sister Morgana dwell. Many heroes have been lured to the magical domain of Alcina only to fall under her spell and be turned into rocks, streams, trees, and animals. Alcina’s latest captive is the crusader Ruggiero. Ruggiero's fiancée Bradamante, disguised as a man, and Ruggiero's former tutor Melisso come in search of him. Alcina's sister Morgana soon becomes attracted to the disguised Bradamante. This causes her lover, Oronte, to become jealous. In the end, Ruggiero and Bradamante escape and destroy the powers of both Alcina and Morgana.

Baroque operas make up the bread and butter of most opera houses today, but until November 2010, the Wiener Staatsoper had resisted them, with its last Baroque venture back in the 1960s. Enter their 2010-2011 production of Alcina, which boasted an all-star cast of Baroque specialists, a former director of the Royal Shakespeare Company Adrian Noble, the highly-acclaimed conductor Marc Minkowski and his Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble.

Picture: © Wiener Staatsoper / Michael Poehn.

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