The sorcery, martial episodes, crowd scenes with choirs and a ballet, complicated stage effects, unexpected scenery changes and multilevel love intrigues attracted numerous listeners to the theatre at Covent Garden, were the opera was premiered in 1735. This one of the best George Frideric Handel's operas premieres now in Kraków in the Opera Rara series in a concert version conducted by Marc Minkowski...
The last premiere of the year in the Opera Rara series will feature a concert performance of George Frideric Handel "Alcina" conducted by Marc Minkowski
The title hero is a sorceress, possessing magic powers and living on a small island which is the scene for the opera. Alcina has a nasty habit of changing her lovers into stones, animals and trees. The beautiful Bradamante lands on the island in order to rescue her lover Ruggiero from the hands and spells of the evil sorceress. She doesn't know yet that Alcina fell in love with Ruggiero, and this time it's for real. So begins one of Handel's best operas.
The sorcery, martial episodes, crowd scenes with choirs and a ballet, complicated stage effects, unexpected scenery changes and multilevel love intrigues attracted numerous listeners to the theatre at Covent Garden, were the opera was premiered in 1735. One of the ladies who attended wrote that Handel came across to her that evening as a sorcerer immersed in his spells. The "magical" work was successfully staged another dozen or so times, then disappeared from concert posters for almost 200 years… In the 20th century, when early music began to return to favour, an opera was swiftly recalled, in which Handel had conjured up a world full of marvellous sounds and unusual characters.
Marc Minkowski, the founder of Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble, will conduct the piece. Minkowski is known as an outstanding interpreter of Baroque operas, as well as those by W.A. Mozart.
The part of Alcina will be sung by Latvian soprano Inga Kalna, a student of the legendary René Jacobs. Michèle Losier will play Ruggiero and Romina Basso will become Bradamante. Performing artists include Veronica Cangemi (Morgana), Benjamin Bruns (Oronte) and Luca Tittoto (Melisso). Capella Cracoviensis Vocal Ensemble will perform the choir parts, the small but difficult part of Oberta will be sung by the Kraków born soprano Jolanta Kowalska.
The opera premieres on December 2, 2010 at Juliusz Słowacki Theatre
in Kraków. The concert will be broadcasted by Polish Radio's Program 2.
Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków
pl. Św. Ducha 1, 31-023 Kraków
Director: Krzysztof Orzechowski
tel. (+48 12) 424 45 00, 424 45 11
Source: press release