korean couple swapping. redwap

By Beck Feibelman

When Georg Friedrich Händel’s Alcina premiered in London in 1735, it was a triumphant success. Three centuries later, to hear the voluptuous beauty and drama of the opera’s music is to understand why. Based on renaissance poet Ludovico Ariosto’s epic Orlando furioso, a source for numerous operas by various baroque composers, Alcina was Händel’s third opera in as many years drawn from that literary source. It’s a story of adventure, mistaken identity, power and sorcery. If you strip away the magic and peer beyond the baroque ornamentation, what emerges is a surprisingly familiar, relatable story about the possibilities and consequences of true love.

Alcina, a capricious sorceress, rules over a magic island of pleasure and delight. Her powers might be supernatural, but her motivations all too mundane: whenever a new knight washes up on her shores, she literally enchants him and then, when tired of him, she transforms him into a wild animal, a plant, a stone or a wave in the sea as she awaits to seduce her next visitor. In the opera, the knight now under Alcina’s spell is Ruggiero, who remains safe from transformation because Alcina, breaking from her cruel pattern, has fallen sincerely in love with him. The plot follows Ruggiero’s fiancée, Bradamante—disguised as her own brother, “Ricciardo”—as well as Ruggiero’s tutor, Melisso, as they try to break Alcina’s magical hold on the knight so that the true lovers may marry. The cast is filled out by Morgana, Alcina’s sister, a more guileless romantic; Oronte, a courtier who is Morgana’s lover at the start of the opera; and Oberto, a young boy searching the island for his missing father, unaware that Alcina turned him into a lion.

Keeping track of the shifting bonds of love and frustrations of betrayal would seem to require some of Alcina’s magic. Throughout the opera, everyone constantly lies about whom they love, or else they’re confused about whom they love, or else they’re lying or confused about whom someone else loves. Not only does Alcina make Ruggiero fall madly in love with her against his will, he doesn’t even remember his authentic love for Bradamante. Alcina’s love for Ruggiero seems to surprise her; it’s as if she, too, is compelled against her will, swayed by old-fashioned emotion, not magic.

If Alcina is unaccustomed to falling in love, Morgana does it all the time. When she meets Bradamante as “Ricciardo,” she casts Oronte aside and declares her feelings for her new friend. Jealous, Oronte tries to convince Ruggiero that “Ricciardo” is there to steal Alcina from him. “Ricciardo” pretends to love Morgana, who protects him from being turned into a beast. When Ruggiero is finally free of the spell and finally stands face to face with his beloved Bradamante, he refuses to believe it is really she; he assumes the woman before him is another one of Alcina’s illusions. It all starts to feel like a soap opera. Or college.

These shifting, intense emotions and love affairs resonate around Händel’s glorious music. When Ruggiero finally believes that Alcina will not leave him for “Ricciardo,” his aria “La bocca vaga” (“Her lovely lips”) is a victory lap. Still believing “Ricciardo” loves Alcina, Ruggiero taunts him, enunciating the staccato words like slaps: I know that her lovely lips, her black eyes bewitch you. But she does not love you!”

Later, freed of Alcina’s enchantment but pretending to be under her power, Ruggiero sings “Mio bel tesoro” (“My beautiful beloved”) to his captor. The texts of the two arias are remarkably similar, but the music and the arias’ roles in the complicated narrative contrast sharply. In this second aria, Ruggiero sings: “I promise to be true to my idol. [aside] But not to you.”

Alcina thinks Ruggiero is proclaiming his faithful love, but he carefully leaves the name unspoken; the idol to whom he declares his fidelity is, in fact, Bradamante, and he gets away with it as the music flows more lyrically than the more pointed “La bocca vaga.” It sounds like a heartfelt declaration of love—unless Alcina concentrates on all the words.

Italian opera composers often close their first act with a superlatively exciting showpiece. Here, Morgana, the man-crazy free-spirit in love with love, delivers the ecstatic, lilting confection “Tourami a vagheggiar” (“Come back, dearest!”). “Ricciardo” has just recklessly confessed a love for Morgana that he doesn’t feel so she’ll protect him from Alcina’s transmogrifying wrath. In a playful moment in the production available on Cennarium, we see Melisso pantomime a warning to “Ricciardo” not to tell Morgana that he loves her—a warning ignored. It’s a cynical gambit intended by “Ricciardo” for self-preservation; the purity of Morgana’s delight as she sings almost reads to the audience as irony. Almost—because the aria’s sheer charm, the beauty and virtuosity of the ornaments, the depth of the emotional satisfaction that Veronica Cangemi imbues in her performance, are all enough to make even the most sophisticated opera fan believe in the innocence and joy of Morgana’s version of love.

Alcina, who thrives on fake love, is undone by true love. In the production on Cennarium, Anja Harteros’ characterization of the sorceress is brilliant. Compare the self-assurance and sexiness of her Alcina moving through space during “Si, son quella!” (“I am still the same!”), when her power over Ruggiero is undiminished, to the less fluid, clumsier physicality after she loses power over her lover in “Ah, mio cor!” (Oh, my heart!). Harteros begins this latter aria on the floor, supine. The opera’s entire narrative shifts when Alcina realizes that her enchantment has been broken—and that she is a victim of her own unexpected, true love for Ruggiero. Her magic fails her in that moment, but lingers on for the audience as the character delivers one of the most heartrending, gorgeous arias in the European operatic canon.

Although she’ll ultimately end up with Oronte, when Morgana says “I will love whom I choose” in the first act, she is announcing the central theme of Alcina as each character takes a circuitous journey to arrive at whom to love. For Ruggiero, it was a journey back to his forgotten fiancée; for Alcina, it was the discovery that, while she could manipulate the men she was happy to toy with, she was never in control when the besotted lover was herself.

Make sure to watch this fantastic piece right here on Cennarium! 

Beck Feibelman is an art historian and cultural critic. He writes about art, performance and opera. He is an editor at The Clyde Fitch Report. Look for him on Twitter (@feibelman), Instagram (@beckfeibelman) and Facebook.


Share your thoughts...



Get Notified of the Newest Releases and Exclusive Content Available Only to Subscribers!


advertisement advertisement

Latest Post

  • There a many extremely talented deaf performers of all types.4 Deaf Performers
    Deaf performers have extraordinary talents. More than you can maybe imagine from the deaf community. Many deaf performers can be found at Deaf Expos or local community Deaf events in the loc. Deaf […]
  • Musical Leads - Certainly the most important character to set and guide the story and feel of any story.6 of Our Favorite Musical Leads
    Musical leads carry a story on their back, in most cases. While we love our secondary characters with all our hearts, it is hard to deny that the lead characters are the ones who are the center of […]
  • 4 More Famous Operas - Mozart's "Don Giovanni" is one of the most played operas to this date.4 More Famous Operas
    All art worlds have standards and rare gems. The genre of opera is no different. Rock and roll has the Beatles and The Rolling Stones, while film has great actors like Clark Gable and Philip Seymour […]
  • Mariinsky' Theater uses the choreography by Vasily Vainonen for the classic "The Nutcracker" piece.5 Vasily Vainonen Works
    Born just after the turn of the twentieth century, Vasily Vainonen is one of the most notable choreographers in Russian Ballet history. Throughout his dancing career, Vainonen created dances for some […]
  • 3 Musical Works for New Year’s Eve Viewing
    Not everyone likes to head out to a bar or restaurant to ring in the New Year. Some of us prefer to stay off the street and relax with our loved ones at home. Maybe put together a nice dinner and […]

best full spectrum cbd oil states where cbd oil legal cbd oil nyc will cbd oil help with periphial neuropathy how to administer cbd oil what brands of hemp oil have high cbd oil treatibles cbd oil drops reviews will you piss hot from cbd oil cannabis hash oil cartridges cbd oil tinnitus worse hemp oil shampoo and conditioner joy organtic cbd oil fibromyalgia and hemp oil blue dream cbd oil 2500mg cbd oil contains thc cbd oil with or without food can i bring cbd oil to israel does cbd oil cause a positive drug urine test is cbd oil federal law cbd oil without chlorophyll grandmother cbd oil nbc thc olive oil too much cbd oil cause smelly urine hemp seed oil in hindi different cbd oil types cbd oil owner killed san diego does cbd oil lotion come out in a dopping test cbd oil stress reddit doctor recommended thc free cbd oil mill no 5 cbd oil how to order sleep well ancient herbal cbd oil cbd oil for pain side effects will cbd oil change grey hair back to brown cbd oil decarboxilation cab cbd oil be applied tothe skin dea cbd oil schedule 1 can you put cbd oil in a suorin air albuquerque nm pure cbd oil

winton home window repair repair window panes home window repair hillsboro oregon how to measure for a replacement window screen home window repair las vegas arrow home window repair masison wi window screen repair parts home depot andersen window seal replacement glass for window replacement home window replacement round rock tx home window replacement oahu window sales and installation arch window replacement 32 x 36 replacement windows replacement windows 36 x 48 replacement window san antonio cost of installing replacement windows home window replacement comparison replacement vinyl windows home depot window air conditioning installation cost replacement glass for windows and doors replacement window sill window glass replacement oklahoma city window unit repair houston tx rv window fog repair air conditioning unit window installation how to repair window glass window shutter installation bay window installation toronto how to replace window guide clips omaha window repair palladian window replacement cost how to repair window weights replacement windows charlotte nc window repair in phoenix az milgard tuscany window installation instructions how to repair window crack how to replace house windows

dash diet guidelines phentermine diet pills for sale weight loss doctor houston monica riley weight loss weight loss tips for men where to buy keto food maximum weight loss workouts the best water pill for weight loss keto diet soups it works weight loss reviews vitamin b6 weight loss 21 day fast weight loss la weight loss diets how to lose weight on adderall what foods do you eat on the keto diet keto diet one month weight loss pills on dr oz what are macros in a keto diet diet pills while pregnant does birth control make you lose weight diet pills taken off the market censor diet pills seven days diet pills diet pills vitamin shoppe keto diet and adr nal fatigue canola oil keto diet ephedr ne diet pills at walgreens hard to lose weight super slim diet pills chinese weight loss pills that work for belly fat nhathuochoada diet pills atkins induction weight loss results diet pills with green tea extract uses of garlic in weight loss weight loss and birth control pill sudden weight loss in cats acai berry diet weight loss detox cleanse pill 1200 herbalife weight loss pills

herbal viagra amazon six star testosterone booster walgreens acheter viagra science behind penis enlargement pills free viagra samples online joe rogan male enhancement pills viagra at cvs average male libido free viagra trial best buy viagra herbs to increase sex drive sexual enhancement gel normal viagra dosage potency pills stem cells penis enlargement vitamins and minerals to increase testosterone conor mcgregor testosterone supplements how to fix a low libido maximum power xl male enhancement gnc male libido products what works for erectile dysfunction penis enlargement techniqes manhood max male enhancement what is the best and safest male enhancement pill o long penis enlargement cream pills like viagra penis enlargement really works erectile dysfunction what to do how can erectile dysfunction be cured naturally does tongkat ali increase testosterone how to increase mens libido naturally best male testosterone supplement birth control that doesnt cause low libido low sexual stamina panden volcano life male enhancement pills ed enhancement products free testosterone pills online viagra difference