BOSTON EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL CHAMBER OPERA SERIES
Paul O’Dette & Stephen Stubbs, Musical Directors
Saturday, November 24, 2018 at 8pm
Francesca Caccini’s Alcina
A contemporary of Monteverdi and a colleague of Galileo, Francesca Caccini came of age in Florence during the earliest years of opera as an art form. Both a composer and a performer, she was one of the most important musical figures at the Medici court during the regency of Christina of Lorraine and her daughter-in-law Maria Maddalena. In 1625, amid this time of female leadership, she created the first opera by a woman composer, La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina.
Alcina is a brilliant entertainment, full of wit, magic, and drama, with a demanding title role first sung by the composer herself. At the center of a struggle of illusion and destiny, the sorceress Alcina stands between the valiant magician Melissa and her quest to save the warrior Ruggiero and liberate the captives who Alcina has transformed into plants and trees to ornament her island.