I will perform the love-smitten and heroic role of Ruggiero in Handel's opera Alcina at Indiana University on Feb. 7 & 13 at 8:00 p.m. EST. (Another cast of fine performers will take the stage on Feb. 6 and 14.) You may also come to see my performances in show for free during the dress rehearsals on Feb. 3 and 5 at 7:00 p.m., though many elements will still be in rehearsal on those dates.
The Feb. 7 performance will be live-streamed for free here (first click the link and then click "Live and On-Demand Video"), and you can read more and buy tickets here. English language translations will be projected above the stage for the performances, and subtitles will be included on the live-streamed video. To see the dress rehearsals you must enter up the cement staircase on the south side of the Musical Arts Center prior to 7:00 p.m.
If you have not attended, seen, or heard this Handel opera, you may find it helpful to read the following simple synopsis here or a more-detailed version here. When this opera was first performed, most audience members were already well-acquainted with the story-line taken from the 16th-century poem Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto and were much more interested in the singing, stage-spectacle, and dancing (the latter being absent from our production). Although this opera includes some incredible music, the story-line does have a few holes as well as quite a few quick and/or subtle plot twists that can make it hard to fully enjoy on a first viewing/listening. As you read the summary, it should be noted that our production has cut the role of Oberto as well as several other scenes.
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If you know nothing else, you should know that our production is set in modern-day times, though we find Alcina, Morgana, Oronte, and Ruggiero dressed in 18th century costumes (Yes, that means I'm wearing tights as well as a coat which seems to weigh at least 30 pounds!) as a metaphor for the "magic" which Alcina uses. In fact, we learn that most of Alcina's "magic" is simply fake - it's just an act. Really, the only real magic that she uses in the show is a freezing spell! My character, Ruggiero, is found at the start to be in love with the sorceress, Alcina, but throughout the opera and with the help of my fiance, Bradamante (disguised as her brother, Ricciardo) and my former tutor, Melisso, I begin to realize the falseness of my love for Alcina and the fake beauty of the world that she has "created". In the end, I have come back to my heroic senses while we see Alcina reduced to weakness.
Click here for a preview recording of one of the arias from the opera (Available until Feb. 15). This aria occurs in the third act of the opera where I finally proclaim that I am off to go defeat Alcina and her evil magic!
If you come to the show, please come downstairs afterwards to say, "Hi!" I hope that you enjoy!