Antonio Vivaldi’s opera Orlando is based on the epic Orlando furioso (1516/1532) by Ludovico Ariosto, which also served as source for his operas Ariodante and Alcina (both in 1735) and which became the Legend of Roland later on. The historic background can be found in Charlemagne’s military campaign against Spain’s Saracens, which came to its bloody climax in 778 at Roncesvalles.
Ariosto’s Orlando furioso extends the Legend of Roland to include not only colorful mythical creatures, ficticious persons and imaginary stories, but also the noble Paladin’s love delirium resulting from his unanswered love for Angelica, Queen of China. In contrast to Ariodante and Alcina, which only deal with certain portions of Ariosto’s Orlando furioso, Handel’s Orlando refers to the main theme of the literary original, without citing it verbatim.
Orlando: Max Emanuel Cencic
Alcina: Ruxandra Donose | Romina Basso | Sonja Runje | Vivica Genaux
Bradamante: Anna Starushkevych | Sonja Runje | Jess Dandy
Ruggerio: David DQ Lee | Nicholas Tamagna
Angelica: Julia Lezhneva | Sophie Junker
Medoro: Philipp Mathmann
Astolfo: Pavel Kudinov | Jose Coco-Loza | Sreten Manojlović
Conductor: George Petrou | Markellos Chryssicos
Orchestra: Armonia Atenea