The enchantress Alcina has conjured a magical island from the souls of her former lovers. There she lures unsuspecting men, only to turn them into wild animals and inanimate objects when she tires of them. When she traps the knight Ruggiero, his fiancée, Bradamante – who is herself a knight, disguised as her own brother – comes to the rescue.
The resulting tangle of romantic conflicts and deceptions, and the complexities of how human beings suffer in love, form the story of Georg Friedrich Händel’s 1735 masterpiece, Alcina.
Meadows Opera Theatre, directed by Hank Hammett and conducted by Paul Phillips, will present the Baroque opera as its Spring Term production. The show runs Feb. 8-11, 2018, in the Bob Hope Theatre. Ticket are $8 each for SMU students, faculty and staff.
Händel wrote the opera seria, which takes its setting and many of its characters from the epic poem Orlando furioso by Ludovico Arioso, for his debut season at the Theatre Royal in London’s Covent Garden. Dame Joan Sutherland performed the title role for the Dallas Opera in a November 1960 production by Franco Zeffirelli.
Meadows Opera Theatre will sing the performance in Italian with English projected titles.
The Meadows Opera Theatre, directed by Hank Hammett and conducted by Paul Phillips, debuts its production of a classic opera by a teenaged Wolfgang Mozart this week. Il re pastore (The Shepherd King) runs Feb. 4-7 in the Bob Hope Theatre in SMU’s Owen Arts Center.
Written in 1775, when Mozart was only 19, the libretto features Alexander the Great in a major role. After the conqueror deposes the ruling tyrant of the city of Sidon, he searches for the true heir to the throne, who turns out to be a shepherd boy. The story sets the demands of duty against the demands of love as Aminta, the shepherd-king, struggles with the prospect of an arranged marriage and his own wish to keep to the simple life he knows.
Meadows Opera Theatre comes to the production fresh from winning an important award. In January, with the first entry in its history, the group received second prize for Best Production in the National Opera Association‘s annual competition for its 2009 staging of Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land.
The national award was “an extraordinary honor for our opera program, and it highlights the excellence of our gifted young singing actors and orchestra musicians as well as the superlative training and performance opportunities we are able to give our students,” Hammett said. “This recognition is also a testament to the exceptional interdisciplinary collaboration we have here at Meadows between music, theatre and dance.”
(Above, junior voice major Katrina Galka and Master of Music candidate in voice Dee Donasco as Elisa and Aminta in the Meadows Opera Theatre production of Mozart’s Il re pastore. Photo by Paul Phillips.)