Alcina is an opera in three acts of Georg Friedrich Haendel, inspired by the Orlando furioso (1516) - songs VI and VII of Arioste. Finished on April 8th 1735, it was created with London on April 16th 1735, for the first season of the theater of Covent Garden. Work knew eighteen representations and enclosed the first season, on July 2nd. Haendel took it again for the springtide, after one year of interruption, on November 6th 1736.
Presentation of the characters
- Alcina, magician (soprano),
- Ruggiero, knight (castrato viola),
- Morgana, sister of Alcina (soprano),
- Bradamante, wife of Ruggiero, disguised under the name of Ricciardo (contralto),
- Oronte, general of Alcina (tenor),
- Melisso, governor of Bradamante (low),
- Oberto, wire of the paladin Astolfo (sopranist)
The Alcina enchanter attracts the men on her magic island where it transforms them into rocks, brooks or wild beasts. She thus holds in her capacity the Ruggiero knight, but for the first time, fell in love from there. Bradamante, promised in marriage of Ruggiero, which travels to its research while being made pass for Ricciardo, acccompagnée of Melisso, former tutor of Ruggiero, unloads in the island of Alcina. It is accommodated with the palate by Morgana, sister of Alcina, promised with Oronte, chief of the armies of the magician, who éprend of pseudo Ricciardo. Oronte realizes and convinces Ruggiero of it that Alcina is in love with Ricciardo. Melisso delivers Ruggiero of the capacity where Alcina holds, and pretends to be always in love with Alcina. Ruggiero prepares its escape with Bradamante, and Alcina, which lost its capacities, cannot to it be opposed. The bewitched men find their original form.
The opera opens on the arrival of Bradamante, vêtue as a warrior, disguised in his own brother “Ricciardo”, and of Melisso, his former tutor, also in behavior of war, which failed on the shore. Using a magic ring, they intend to break the magic spell which binds Ruggiero to Alcina and to deliver all the other prisoners who underwent various transformations. Bradamante and Melisso are accommodated by the sister of Alcina, Morgana (it also magician) and make pretense be stray. Morgana falls immediately in love with “Ricciardo” (in fact, Bradamante), although it itself is promised in marriage to Oronte, the commander of the forces of Alcina.
Suddenly, under the lightning and the claps of thunder, the mountain collapses and opens on all sides; disappearing, it makes place with the delicious palate of Alcina, where the latter, with her toilet, sat close to Ruggiero, which presents a mirror to him. The Oberto young person is held on the side, and of the pages and the young ladies for Alcina various clothing prepares. Young knights and ladies, crowned flowers, foorment the chorus and dance
The following scene is held in the palate of Alcina, where it reigns in ostentation and splendor. It there accommodates these foreigners and exposes with exubérance his love for Ruggiero, then requests it to show its palate and its grounds with its guests. When it left, an young man named Oberto asks Melisso and Bradamante to help it to find his father, Astolfo; although Oberto is unaware of it, those are persuaded that his/her father was transformed into an wild animal, like good of other prisoners. When Melisso and Bradamante are only found with Ruggiero, they show it to have given up them, but this one treats them with contempt, declares that he lives only for the return of Alcina and from goes away. Meanwhile, Oronte - been engaged of Morgana - discovered the new passion of this one for “Ricciardo” and causes it in duel. Morgana precipitates to interpose, pushing back Oronte contemptuously and defending “Ricciardo”. Morgana confirms in Oronte that it leaves it.
a room giving in the apartments of Alcina
Oronte meets Ruggiero, always in the search of Alcina. On aggressive mood, it decides to reveal the way to him in which Alcina treated its old in love. In front of the refusal of Ruggiero to believe in its inaccuracy, Oronte tries to convince it by inventing a passion on behalf of Alcina for “Ricciardo”. When it finds it, Ruggiero requires explanations of him, but she denies this new passion firmly and reaffirms her love for Ruggiero. In front of the attitude of Ruggiero, Alcina protests of its fidelity. After the departure of Alcina, Bradamante cannot resist emulously to reveal its true identity with Ruggiero, which Melisso hastens to deny. Ruggiero chooses to believe it, and supposing that “Ricciardo” tries to dissimulate its love for Alcina, enorgueillit to be itself the only one to profit from its favors before leaving the scene. Morgana appears then and announces that Alcina for proving its love for Ruggiero by transforming “Ricciardo” into a wild beast. Morgana presses “it” to flee, but “Ricciardo” requires of him to turn over to see Alcina and to say to him that it cannot like it, since its heart belongs to someone else. Morgana believes that it is it in question; Bradamante does not dissuade it and is withdrawn. The first act finishes, amusing Morgana love which “Ricciardo carries to him”.
Rich and majestic room in the magic palate of Alcina
Ruggiero realizes very quickly that it is victim of a magic spell. After being itself deplored the absence Alcina, it is put in the presence of Melisso, disguised in its former tutor, Atlante. This one severely points out its duty to him and the magic ring puts to him with the finger: the island then appears such as it is really, stripped of splendor or magnificence. Ruggiero feels the desire immediately to re-examine Bradamante in order to repair the damage caused by Alcina. Taking again its true appearance then, Melisso makes him by seeing of its plan to escape: Ruggiero will have to cover its armor, to claim that he wants to go to drive out in the forest and to benefit from it to flee. But although the charm which Alcina threw to him does not operate pius, he is still wary of her: when it meets Bradamante again, it can be certain only it is not a question of Alcina disguised. Bradamante is desperate. Once only Ruggiero so fears for the future after all it acted well of her and that he did not believe it one second time.
Place leading to the royal apartments. In the center, a statue of Circé which changes the men into animals
Morgana intervenes at the time when Alcina is on the point of pronouncing the magic formula which will transform Bradamante into a wild beast; it is followed by Ruggiero: without revealing in Alcina that he does not like it any more, he persuades it that it is not necessary to prove his love in such a brutal way to him. It then manages to convince it to let it leave to 1a drives out. Oberto appears, always deploring disappearance his/her father; it ends up moving Alcina which gives him a hope to find it. Oronte then announces in Alcina that Ruggiero, Melisso and Bradamante intend to flee; she deplores her destiny. Although Oronte makes fun sarcastically of Morgana, that “Ricciardo” gave up, this one refuses to believe it. Even forsaken, Oronte cannot be prevented from liking Morgana. Bradamante and Ruggiero are finally joined together, but Morgana surprises their conversation: it is outraged to discover that “Ricciardo” is not other than Bradamante and than Ruggiero Alcina betrayed.
underground Room devoted to the magic, where one sees various instruments and figures concerned with this art
The second act finishes on imprécations of Alcina inviting its spirits to prevent the escape of Ruggiero, its efforts remain vain and it throws its magic wand of despair. Various spirits and spectra appear then and form a dance.
Atrium of the palate
Morgana endeavors to regain the favors of Oronte, but this one pushes back it, as he had sworn to do it. However, when it left, he admits that he still likes it. Ruggiero and Alcina meet by chance: it requires to know why he wants to leave it. When he says to him that he must turn over towards his obligations and its been engaged, it congédie with contempt, swearing to be avenged. Melisso, Bradamante and Ruggiero then prepare to put the forces of Alcina in rout using the magic ring and of the shield. Bradamante swears not to leave the island before all the victims of Alcina were not released. Oronte informs Alcina that its fleet was indeed overcome by Ruggiero; in aside, it expresses its satisfaction to see that it finally will pay its cruelties expensive. This one, despaired, wishes ardently that it be forgotten.
Seen on the marvellous palate of Alcina, surrounded by trees, statues, obelisks, trophies and cages where one sees turning of the wild beasts; in the center, raised, a ballot box which contains the power of the enchantments of Alcina
When Oberto recalls to Alcina its promise to help it to find his/her father, it faultily makes leave a lion its cage and gives a dagger to Oberto, ordering to him to kill it. But this one refuses, guessing that it must be a question of his father, and is turned over against Alcina which he threatens before leaving with his dagger. Alcina still tries to allure Ruggiero, but neither this one, nor Bradamante are easily deceived. Ruggiero and Bradamante approach the ballot box, source of all the magic capacities of Alcina, decided to destroy it. Trying to prevent them, Alcina denies any bad intention, swearing that she wishes only their happiness. Melisso encourages Ruggiero to destroy the ballot box. Ruggiero breeze. Alcina and Morgana flee then precipitately, deploring their destiny. The magic capacities of Alcina being destroyed, its palate crumbles in ruins, submerged by water. The old in love ones that it had bewitched find their human form, Oberto and Astolfo are again joined together and all sing their relief and their joy.
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