Alcina

 

Handel Alcina opera to a libretto by an unknown author. Directed 2015 by Katie Mitchell at the Aix-en-Provence Festival. Stars Patricia Petibon (Alcina), Philippe Jaroussky (Ruggiero), Anna Prohaska (Morgana), Katarina Bradić (Bradamante), Anthony Gregory (Oronte), Kryzsztof Baczyk (Melisso), plus Elias Mädler and Lionel Wunsch (alternating singers from Tölzer Boys Choir as Oberto). Actors are Juliet Alderdice (elderly Alcina), Jane Thorne (elderly Morgana), Ian Hallard (Oberto's father/servant), plus Zoé Aldrich, Josephine Arden, Sarah Northgraves, and Anna Martine (servants). Andrea Marcon conducts the Freiburger Barockorchester and MusicAeterna (Chorus of the Perm Opera) under Vitaly Polonsky. Continuo: theorbos Daniele Ciminiti and Maria Ferré; cello Guido Larisch; harpsichords Andrea Marcon and Johannes Keller. Designs by Chloe Lamford; costumes by Laura Hopkins; lighting by James Farncombe; choreography by Joseph W, Alford; directed for TV by Corentin Leconte. Released  2016, disc has 5.1 Dolby Digital sound output. Grade: NA

Alexandra Coghlan in the August 2016 Gramophone (page 90) praises this recording (in DVD) noting that "every close-up yields more intrigue, more insight into Handel's troubled cast of characters" and approves of the double-casting (opera singer and actor) of the main characters. If it was this interesting in DVD, it will be even better in Blu-ray.