Composer George Frideric Handel
Librettist Riccardo Broschi, after Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso; translated by Ivey Barr
Language Sung in Italian with English recitatives
Dates Spring 2019
About the production The detective Bradamante is out to rescue her partner Ruggiero, but he’s forgotten all about her. At Alcina’s hidden speakeasy, it’s hard to tell what’s real, and men have a way of not coming back: when Alcina is bored of her lovers, she transforms them into part of the building. Ruggiero is her latest victim, but for once, the spider may have fallen for the fly… and be ready to fight to keep him. Just to complicate matters, Alcina’s sister Morgana falls for Bradamante (who is undercover as “Ricciardo”), so Morgana’s boyfriend Oronte is out for Bradamante’s blood. Can Bradamante and her companion, the policeman Melisso, expose the sisters’ operation and free Ruggiero, or will Alcina keep her lover, her realm, and her magic?
This show has not been cast yet. Auditions are still open!
Alcina (soprano) is the original femme fatale, glamourous and heartless – until she seduces Ruggiero. The closer she comes to losing him, the more she wants to keep him… and the more her magic begins to deteriorate.
Range: D4 to A5.
Morgana (soprano) is a lively, sparkling flapper – a little less elegant than her older sister, but with plenty of her own charm. She can’t resist a pretty boy in a suit… even if she’s got one already.
Range: E4 to A5.
Oberto (soprano or mezzo-soprano) didn’t mean to get mixed up in this – he was with his father Astolfo, who seems to have disappeared somehow. He’s positive Alcina knows where his father is, and maybe these undercover detectives can help.
Range: E4 to A5.
Ruggiero (mezzo-soprano) is Bradamante’s partner and fiance, lost in Alcina’s magic. He clings possessively to Alcina, but as the magic fades, he starts to remember Bradamante, and is horrified to see what he has become.
Range: B3 to G5.
Bradamante (mezzo-soprano or contralto) is a quick-thinking, dedicated detective. Her passionate personality sometimes leads her to take dangerous risks. She’s always rescuing her partner Ruggiero, but loves him in spite of that.
Range: A3 to D5.
Oronte (tenor) is the speakeasy’s bouncer and Morgana’s hapless suitor. All he wants is to do his job, keep his girlfriend, and preferably not get arrested. He’s not fond of Ruggiero, as he’s seen what happens to men who get too close to Alcina.
Range: E4 to G5.
Melisso (baritone or bass) is the police chief. He’s been trying to track down this speakeasy for months (with the help of Bradamante and Ruggiero, Private Investigators). He started out all business, but couldn’t help taking the kids under his wing: it’s a dangerous city, after all, and someone has to make sure that smart young lady and her idiot boyfriend get home safe.
Range: B2 to E4.
Ensemble and Covers
None cast yet.
Act I Bradamante and Melisso crash in a storm and take shelter in a nearby club. Morgana arrives to greet the new guests and is immediately smitten with Bradamante, who is undercover and using her brother Ricciardo’s name. Alcina appears with Ruggiero in tow, and leaves him to entertain the guests. Once alone, Bradamante tries to snap Ruggiero out of his enchanted amnesia, but he only laughs at her.
Oberto discovers the newcomers, and asks if they have any idea where his father Astolfo might be. Bradamante recognizes the name, and wonders if Astolfo might be one of Alcina’s earlier victims. The bouncer Oronte shows up in a fury and tries to start a fight with Bradamante for stealing Morgana’s affection – but Morgana rushes in and separates them, declaring to Oronte that he has no claim to her and she can love who she likes. Bradamante sympathizes with Oronte’s jealousy and Morgana’s love, longing to have Ruggiero back at her side.
Spurned by Morgana and unable to fight Bradamante, Oronte turns on Ruggiero instead and reveals Alcina’s secret: whenever she gets bored of her latest lover, she turns him into part of the building! Ruggiero wants to trust Alcina, but when Oronte suggests that her affection has turned to the newcomer “Ricciardo”, Ruggiero is outraged and lashes out at Alcina. Alcina is only amused, and reassures him of her love.
Bradamante tries to break through to Ruggiero by revealing her true identity, but Melisso stops her. Morgana arrives in a panic, urging Bradamante to escape – to prove her loyalty to Ruggiero, Alcina plans to transform her supposed rival “Ricciardo” into an animal. Bradamante declares in frustration that she could never love Alcina, as she loves someone else entirely. Morgana asks if that someone might be her, and Bradamante seizes the opening and says yes, it is Morgana she loves. Delighted, Morgana hurries to tell Alcina to spare Morgana’s new lover.
Act II Melisso surprises Ruggiero and uses a magic ring to banish Alcina’s spells. Melisso reminds Ruggiero of his past, his work, and his beloved Bradamante, and instructs him to play along with Alcina until he can regain his old weapons and escape with Melisso and Bradamante. Ruggiero agrees, but is startled to see Bradamante again. He reasons that she must be a new enchantment of Alcina’s, meant to trick him, and Bradamante loses her temper. Confronted with her familiar fire, Ruggiero wavers and tries to decide whether he can believe her.
Ruggiero and Morgana arrive at Alcina’s side simultaneously, as she prepares the spell to transform Bradamante. Morgana pleads for Bradamante’s freedom, and Ruggiero reassures Alcina that he is no longer jealous of “Ricciardo”. Alcina calls off the spell, but is unsettled by the look in Ruggiero’s eyes and questions him. Ruggiero swears his eternal love “to his beloved” – but not to Alcina – and she agrees to let him practice with his old weapons. Oberto wanders in, still seeking his father, and Alcina unsuccessfully attempts to distract herself by entertaining the boy.
Ruggiero is reunited with Bradamante and apologizes, but Morgana overhears them and realizes they are planning to expose Alcina’s whole operation. Furious, she runs to reveal their plans to Alcina. Ruggiero, although glad to be freed from Alcina’s magic, quietly laments the loss of all the beauty it held.
Alone, Alcina, betrayed and desperate, summons every spirit under her power to defend her realm… but nothing answers her incantations.
Act III Oronte throws Morgana’s claims of freedom back in her face as she attempts to reconcile with him, but cannot keep himself from taking her back. Alcina finds Ruggiero and makes a last effort to regain his love or threaten him into staying, but Ruggiero has regained his old confidence and rejects her once and for all. Alcina attempts to hold Oberto hostage with his transfigured father, but Oberto realizes her intent and fights back. Bradamante and Ruggiero stand together against Alcina’s threats and pleas, and break the source of her power. All her spells are immediately broken, and everyone is freed from Alcina’s magic.