ALCINA / program / Palais Garnier / November 2021

The history of opera has always been haunted by women bewitching men. Alcina is no exception: she seduces her victims to the point of making them forget their own homeland. Is this the danger of unbridled love or the delight of self-abandonment? Beyond the marvellous, Handel's genius is to paint in Alcina a wounded woman, deeply human and pathetic: the song of the fallen magician inspires us with a strange compassion. Robert Carsen's staging, which brought the work into the Paris Opera repertoire, plays with this ambiguity, the chiaroscuro of feelings and the disguises of desire with finesse.
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The history of opera has always been haunted by women bewitching men. Alcina is no exception: she seduces her victims to the point of making them forget their own homeland. Is this the danger of unbridled love or the delight of self-abandonment? Beyond the marvellous, Handel's genius is to paint in Alcina a wounded woman, deeply human and pathetic: the song of the fallen magician inspires us with a strange compassion. Robert Carsen's staging, which brought the work into the Paris Opera repertoire, plays with this ambiguity, the chiaroscuro of feelings and the disguises of desire with finesse.

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