Handel: Alcina (1735)
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Orlando Furioso: music inspired by the epic poem
8. Handel: Alcina (1735)
Handel found Ariosto's deceitful sorceress Alcina such a dramatic challenge that he named a whole opera after her. After its premiere in 1735, it fell into obscurity until the 20th century. Joan Sutherland (pictured) sang the role in a production by Franco Zeffirelli in which she made her debut at La Fenice, Venice, in February 1960.