Alcina

Music by

George Frideric Handel

Royal Opera House

London, UK

Tuesday November 8, 2022 - 6:00 PM
Thursday November 10, 2022 - 6:30 PM
Monday November 14, 2022 - 6:30 PM
Friday November 18, 2022 - 6:30 PM
Tuesday November 22, 2022 - 6:30 PM
Saturday November 26, 2022 - 12:30 PM

Cast

Alcina  Lisette Oropesa
Ruggiero  Emily D'Angelo
Morgana  Mary Bevan
Bradamante  Varduhi Abrahamyan
Oronte  Rupert Charlesworth
Melisso  José Coca Loza
Oberto  Malakai M Bayoh - 8, 14, 22
Oberto  Rafael Flutter - 10, 18, 26
Dancer  Ashley Bain
Dancer  Lauren Bridle
Dancer  Jordan Cork
Dancer  Sebastien Kapps
Dancer  Bridget Lappin
Dancer  Michael Larcombe
Dancer  Gareth Mole
Dancer  Ryan Munroe
Dancer  Luke Murphy
Dancer  Jay Yule

Conductor

Christian Curnyn

Director

Richard Jones

Set Designer

Antony McDonald

Lighting

Lucy Carter

Choreography

Sarah Fahie

About

No one can resist Alcina: she has lured many lovers to their demise. But when Ruggiero falls under her spell, his fiancée Bradamante dons a disguise that will leave everyone questioning whether, in an age of reason, love can conquer all. Friend or foe? Wife or husband? Lover or beast? On Alcina’s magic island, nothing is as it seems.

Wild fantasies and dark desires come to life in Richard Jones’s intoxicating new staging of Handel’s fantastical opera. The magnificent Lisette Oropesa returns to Covent Garden in the title role, joining a stunning international cast.

BROADCAST

Sat 3 Dec 2022, 18:30, BBC RADIO 3

Reviews

Alcina review – witty and vibrant staging full of beastly style

In a mostly international cast, Lisette Oropesa inhabited the title role with enormous style, her creamy tone absolutely suits the part.

—  Martin Kettle  •  The Guardian

Big-hearted, quirky, fun: Richard Jones' Alcina for The Royal Opera

When an opera has a plot as convoluted and comprehensively daft as Handel’s Alcina, one’s enjoyment depends principally on one thing: how well can the singers sell me their text? Can they take me out of the general state of battiness and transport me to a place where I truly believe the love, the rage or the fear? In the case of Lisette Oropesa, the answer is a resounding “yes”: if I were an Eskimo and Oropesa was selling fridges, I’d be at the front of the queue!

Leaving aside Oropesa’s technical excellence, it’s the emotional investment that got me every time. Her opening aria “Di', cor mio, quanto t'amai” lifted me far away to a happy land of romance. “Ombre pallide”, the Act 2 closer, had me melting with sympathy – despite this being an evil sorceress complaining to the dark spirits about the loss of her powers.

Oropesa sets the bar so high that you have to feel a level of sympathy for anyone sharing a stage with her

—  David Karlin  •  Bachtrack

Alcina review – Royal Opera’s witty and vibrant staging full of beastly style

In a largely worldwide solid, Lisette Oropesa inhabited the title position with monumental style, her creamy tone completely fits the half. 

—  Pehal News Team  •  Pehal News

Alcina, Royal Opera House review

For the cast is itself a dream. As slinky Alcina, in a desirable range of LBDs, is the superstar Cuban-American soprano Lisette Oropesa, strutting in her Laboutins as confidently as she soars and swoops through aria after aria with breathtaking ease, every note shot through with colour and personality from the big belter to the faltering whisper.Oropesa was heard last season in two Verdi roles, as innocent Gilda in Rigoletto and worldly Violetta in La Traviata. There seems to be no end to her talents.

—  Claudia Pritchard  •  Culture Whisper

Alcina, Royal Opera review - sharp stage magic, mist over the pit

Lisette Oropesa voice has that infallible ping and reach from the start, as she wields her brand perfume...The emotional highlights – “Ah! mio cor” and “Ombre pallide” in Act Two – hit surprisingly hard.

—  David Nice  •  The Arts Desk

Lisette Oropesa brings star power to Alcina at the Royal Opera House — review

American soprano Lisette Oropesa delivers the star quality here as Alcina, conjuring an insouciant sense of superiority for the glittering enchantress, and singing with a high-class, diamantine soprano that never loses its quality. The intensity of her later arias comes across at white heat.

—  Richard Fairman  •  Financial Times

Alcina at The Royal Opera House

But the real value in this Alcina lies in the performances. Cuban-American soprano Lisette Oropesa is brilliant as Alcina, using her narcissism to her bewitch and manipulate. Oropesa has a luminescent tone, control and technique that allows her to pivot between seductiveness and the anger of in Ah! Ruggeiro crudel

—  Adrian York  •  London Unattached

Alcina at the Royal Opera House review: spellbinding and unmissable

The role of Alcina is taken by the Cuban–American soprano Lisette Oropesa, whose starring roles at Covent Garden have included a highly acclaimed Violetta in La Traviata. She here embodies both the sexual allure and the emotional fragility of the character –Handel’s psychological acuity seems so modern – and her singing is no less dazzlingly brilliant, with some stratospheric decoration.

—  Barry Millington  •  Evening Standard

Londra, Royal Opera House – Alcina (con Lisette Oropesa)

La compagnia di canto si dimostra complessivamente all’altezza. Su tutti domina lei, la star Lisette Oropesa che ha illuminato la serata con una prova di valore per controllo della vocalità e qualità dell’esecuzione. Nessun segno di insicurezza, nessun nervosismo legato al debutto in un ruolo chiave del repertorio barocco, un repertorio che Oropesa sta esplorando con successo e che ci auguriamo possa mantenere ed espandere con sempre più consapevolezza stilistica. Certo Alcina è storicamente associato a soprani con un certo spessore vocale (Sutherland in primis), ma non sono mancate interpreti più leggere in tempi più recenti. Oropesa ha tutta l’estensione per il ruolo, acuti e sovracuti che ci regala nelle variazioni (chissà cosa farebbe con “Tornami a vagheggiar” se l’aria venisse riaffidata al personaggio di Alcina) oltre a bei centri su cui fa leva nei recitativi o nei salti. Lega con gusto, trilla in modo fenomenale e si muove attraverso le zone del pentagramma con facilità e su fiati ben controllati. Coglie poi l’evoluzione del personaggio da maga-seduttrice a donna ferita. Le sue due arie del secondo atto rubano la scena. È dolente in “Ah, mio cor!” e spiritata ma senza effetti nevrastenici in “Ah! Ruggiero crudel…Ombre pallide”, dove tra l’altro sfoggia agilità sciorinate con grande fluidità. Scatena poi tutto il suo furore e i suoi toni vendicativi con una resa di “Ma quando tornerai” musicalmente travolgente. In “Mi restano le lagrime” Oropesa rende poi bene in musica la vulnerabilità di una donna che sa di aver perso i suoi poteri.

—  Pietro Dall'Aglio  •  Conessi all'Opera

A 'Wild, Wacky, and Frequently Witty' Alcina at Covent Garden

Leading the cast is Lisette Oropesa as a refreshingly youthful Alcina. Her bright, supple soprano has a touch of Callas about it, and she’s especially ravishing in the upper register. The transformation from ditzy playgirl to abandoned lover is beautifully charted and she’s viscerally engaging in the ferocious “Ah! mio cor schernito sei!” and the anguished strains of “Ombre pallide.”

—  Clive Paget  •  Musical America

Superb musical performances and theatrical dazzle do not quite add up to a satisfying staging of Han

Lisetta Oropesa was a magnetic Alcina, relishing the challenges of the role. When the going got tough at the end of Act Two, she responded superbly, giving us a profoundly moving 'Ah, mio cor' and providing vivid theatrical drama in her failed invocation to the spirits. Any production of Alcina requires a title role who can cope with the technical demands and give us theatrical bravura; Oropesa did this brilliantly, whilst rocking a pair of ridiculous heels. Who was this Alcina? We never quite worked that out. She was dressed glamorously, perhaps as some sort of lounge-singer. But as a person, Oropesa made us care for her as her world fell apart.

—  Robert Hugill  •  Planet Hugill

A Fun Staging and Superb Performances in Alcina at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Lisette Oropesa is stunning in the title role as her gorgeous soprano proves particularly adept at capturing the fear and sorrow Alcina feels as her power wanes and forces move against her.

—  Sam Smith  •  Opera Online

OPERA + CLASSICAL MUSIC REVIEWS The Royal Opera’s new staging of Alcina beguiles, delights and is fa

As the sorceress herself, Cuban-American soprano Lisette Oropesa made a welcome return to the House, having wowed audiences last season as a sensational Violetta in La Traviata. Here, she moulded Handel’s vocal lines with care, and invested each of her arias with a rare sense of emotion – ‘Di’, cor mio, quanto t’amai’ was infused with Mediterranean warmth, while ‘Ombre pallide’ tugged at the heartstrings. As expected, her coloratura was technically faultless throughout and she embodied Jones’ vision of the character, bold and sassy at the start, yet tinged with sadness by the close, to perfection. 

—  Keith McDonnell  •  Music OMH

Performance History

Lisette has given 6 performances as Alcina.