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Ex-RSC director, Adrian Noble, sets his Alcina in the Piccadilly salon of the Duchess of Devonshire, who is leading her aristocratic friends and family in a private performance of the opera. This is a canny framing device for a work that, like Orlando and Ariodante, plays with notions of illusion and reality. It also allows Noble to create a charming yet practical eighteenth century mise-en-scène, although he does permit himself the occasional moment of surreal spectacle, such as the arrival of a hot-air balloon, or the stars falling from the sky. Anja Harteros is a langourous Alcina (more duchess than sorceress, perhaps) and Vesselina Kasarova’s Ruggiero has a twitchy stage manner,

Graham Lock Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Early Music Today, 2011 - ©Rhinegold Publishing