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G.F Haendel 1685 – 1759


19 July 2024 • 21h Cour des Hospices

Alcina was composed during the 1734-35 season, one of Handel’s most sumptuous seasons, as it also featured Ariodante, another masterpiece that also achieved resounding success. Alcina is a magical opera filled with supernatural effects, where the sorceress Alcina lures humans to her enchanted island and transforms them into stones, trees, or wild animals. Her latest captive is a young knight, Ruggiero, whom she falls in love with and allows to retain his human form. With the help of a magical ring that will free him from Alcina’s spell, he manages to shatter the urn containing her evil powers and restores the captives to their human appearance. Handel crafted one of his most perfect compositions here, showcasing his imagination in creating a succession of arias inspired by magical and dramatic episodes. He reserves some of his most beautiful arias for Alcina: The accompanied recitative “Ah! Rugiero crudel” and the subsequent aria “Ombre pallide” (Act II, Scene 12) represent the musical and dramatic peak of the work. Overwhelmed by pain, deceived, Alcina flushes with rage, screams for vengeance, but the “shadows” remain deaf to her call. Consumed by her passion, she gradually falls into despair (sublime lamentation “Mi restano le lagrime” (Act III, Scene 5)).


Les Épopées / Conductor : Stéphane Fuget

Alcina - Ana Maria Labin, soprano
Ruggiero - Ambroisine Bré, mezzo-soprano
Morgana - Jodie Devos, soprano colouratura
Floriane Hasler – Bradamante
Oronte - Juan Sancho, ténor
Melisso - Luigi de Donato, basse
Oberto - Samuel Marino, soprano

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