The isle of Alcina
Baroque opera in the Almi Hall
The opera Ruggiero’s liberation (La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina) composed by Francesca Caccini in 1625 is based on Ludovico Ariosto’s epic poem Orlando Furioso, familiar to their contemporaries. In the opera, we dive into the enchanted plants of the island of Alcina; to a world of enchantments, murderous witches, golden-haired gods, storms, streams of tears, prayers and sighs.
In Almi Hall, in February 2024, a stage performance of Caccini’s and librettist Saracinelli’s musical play will premiere in collaboration with the Arkkityypit (archetypes) and the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra. The wondering multi-sensory work explores the boundaries of freedom, responsibilities, torment, pleasure, controlled, unbridled, reality and fairy-tale.
Prologue: Neptune, the god of the sea, praises the Polish crown prince, who has arrived in Florence to the Duke of Medici, the commissioner of Caccini’s work. Neptunus presents the events of the opera to the crown prince.
Act 1: The witch Alcina, who seduces the knights arriving on her island, has now bewitched the knight Ruggiero. Melissa sets out to free him from the spell.
Act 2: Alcina and her troops interrupt Melissa’s and Ruggiero’s escape, but Melissa quashes Alcina, who escapes.
Act 3: Melissa urges everyone to reflect on human vanity and warns of the dangers of lacking self-control.
Act 4: The enchanted plants are liberated and at the end of the celebration, instead of the
original madrigal praising the beauty of Tuscan women, we hear Caccini’s solo madrigal as
an alternative epilogue.