George Frideric Handel
Wiener Staatsoper, 2011
Soloists: Anja Harteros, Vesselina Kasarova, Kristina Hammarström
Orchestra, Chorus: Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble, Ballett der Wiener Staatsoper
Conductor: Marc Minkowski
Director: Adrian Noble
DVD Specials: Behind the Scenes. Interview with the production team and the artists as well as backstage footage. (21 mins)
Handel’s operas are now so thoroughly a part of modern musical life that you might think every major opera house welcomes them. But until November 2010, when it introduced an absorbing new production of Alcina, the Vienna Staatsoper resisted them, not having done a Baroque opera since Monteverdi’s Poppea in the 1960s. The present production boasted an all-star cast of Baroque specialists, a former director of the Royal Shakespeare Company – Adrian Noble, the highly-acclaimed conductor Marc Minkowski and his Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble in the pit. Adrian Noble places his Alcina into a framework which begins in the magnificent ballroom of the Devonshire-House in London Piccadilly. The legendary Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, stages a play in which she is acting together with her friends, a stage on the stage. Alcina is a great musical experience geared to the Baroque curiosity. Marc Minkowski revives Handel’s music in an outstanding way.