OPERA – Alcina – full stream from Opera North!

And not two nights after we were whisked away to a strange magical island, Opera North shares the whole thing with the world via the web.

We live in exciting times!

This is absolutely breathtaking and I think I’m getting much more out of it on a second watch!

Told with some of Handel’s most delightful music, 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 fiance 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 wondrous music, overseeing the proceedings in this troubled (but sustainable) island paradise.


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