login | register
EN  |  DE


George Frideric Handel Alcina

Dramma per musica in three acts (1735), HWV 34
Libretto by an unknown author after the libretto to Riccardo Broschi’s L’isola di Alcina, after Ludovico Ariostos Orlando furioso

Sung in Italian with German and English surtitles

New production


  • 07 June, 18:30


  • 09 June, 16:00

Print programme (PDF)


Gianluca Capuano, Conductor
Damiano Michieletto, Director
Paolo Fantin, Sets
Agostino Cavalca, Costumes
Alessandro Carletti, Lighting
rocafilm, Video
Christian Arseni, Dramaturgy
Alois Glaßner, Chorus Master


Cecilia Bartoli, Alcina
Philippe Jaroussky, Ruggiero
Sandrine Piau, Morgana
Kristina Hammarström, Bradamante
Christoph Strehl, Oronte
Alastair Miles, Melisso

Les Musiciens du Prince – Monaco
Bachchor Salzburg


The castrato Giovanni Carestini, for whom Handel wrote the role of Ruggiero in Alcina, was said to have been less than pleased when he first set eyes on the aria ‘Verdi prati’: how could there be such a lack of virtuosity for a star like him? Handel did well when he refused Carestini’s demand for a new aria: audiences at the very first performances routinely clamoured for ‘Verdi prati’ to be repeated. Today, it is one of Handel’s most famous arias, in one of his most arresting operas.

‘Green meadows and charming woods’: in music of captivating simplicity, Ruggiero evokes the beauties of Alcina’s realm, an island of pleasure that is entirely free of constraints. At the same time, the aria bids a wistful farewell. Bradamante, in disguise as a man, has come to win back her ‘enchanted’ fiancé. When he is awakened from life as Alcina’s lover, Ruggiero returns to his old self, with one type of love giving way to another.

Handel’s opera is like a kaleidoscope highlighting love in its different forms but also in its dark sides. Nobody experiences the latter more painfully than Alcina: the seductress who, upon feeling real love for the first time, loses her magical powers, as well as her lover. Handel’s music traces her inner development with a delicate sensibility that poignantly brings us closer to Alcina in all her tragic humanity.

Ein Mädchen übergibt Captain Cook Geschenke. Stich von Francesco Bartolozzi nach einer Zeichnung von John Webber., © British Library, London/British LibraryBoard/Bridgeman Images.


The events for Whitsun 2019 can already be purchased online as subscriptions. Individual tickets are available online from October 15, 2018.

Download: Programme Folder Salzburg Whitsun Festival 2019