Alcina
Alcina

 Opera composed by Georg Friedrich Haendel in 1735, Alcina tells the story of a young knight who becomes entrapped on an island by a sorceress called Alcina. Hailed as Haendel's finest opera, 'Alcina' tells the tale of Ruggiero, a heroic knight, and his betrothed, Bradamante, whose love is brought to the test when Ruggiero falls under the spell ...

 Opera composed by Georg Friedrich Haendel in 1735, Alcina tells the story of a young knight who becomes entrapped on an island by a sorceress called Alcina. Hailed as Haendel's finest opera, 'Alcina' tells the tale of Ruggiero, a heroic knight, and his betrothed, Bradamante, whose love is brought to the test when Ruggiero falls under the spell of the sorceress Alcina. Haendel's 'Alcina' was inspired by Riccardo Broschi's 'L'isola di Alcina' (The island of Alcina) which in turn was inspired by Ariosto's poem 'Orlando Furioso'. All three, however, are variations of an episode of Homer's 'Odyssey' in which Odysseus and his crew are trapped on an island by the enchantments of the sorceress Circe.

'Alcina' falls into the category of 'magic opera': a genre which became popular during the Baroque era, primarily due to the elaborate special effects which were required to stage the opera's magical motif. Haendel's composition is praised for its marriage of music and emotion - the one drawing on the force of the other. Although Haendel cannot claim all the credit for writing this opera, Alcina's librettist remains unknown.


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