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New Alcina to be livestreamed

Opera North’s first ever staging of Handel’s opera Alcina, which opens on Saturday 5 February 2022 at Leeds Grand Theatre, will be available for viewers around the globe to watch online in partnership with the European streaming platform OperaVision.

The performance on Thursday 17 February at 7pm will be streamed live at operavision.eu, and will be available to watch on demand for 6 months.

Máire Flavin as Alcina in rehearsal © Tom Arber

Alcina is directed by Tim Albery in a production which will move beyond the conventions of women playing male roles in early opera to a deeper exploration of gender fluidity and identity. A tale of deception, seduction, love and loss, the opera tells the story of an enchantress who uses her magical powers to bewitch the young knight Ruggiero and keep him captive in her island paradise.

Baroque specialist Laurence Cummings conducts a cast which includes Irish soprano Máire Flavin (Hanna Glawari, The Merry Widow) in the role of Alcina. Ruggiero is sung by American countertenor Patrick Terry, who will be making his Opera North debut alongside Norwegian mezzo-soprano Mari Askvik as Bradamante and British soprano Fflur Wyn as Morgana.

Fflur Wyn as Morgana in rehearsal © Tom Arber

Alcina is notable for being the company’s first sustainable mainstage production, following successful trials in utilising reused and recycled sets. Designer Hannah Clark has created the set and costumes using elements from previous productions, as well as sourcing vintage or second-hand costumes and props. Nothing that appears on stage will be newly purchased, and the environmental impact of making and transporting the scenic elements and the wider impacts of the supply chain have all been considered.

Richard Mantle, General Director, Opera North comments:

“Our first mainstage sustainable production, Alcina, is an important milestone for Opera North’s sustainability journey, as part of our ongoing commitment to reduce our carbon footprint and to be a leader for the wider industry in this area. We are delighted to be able to livestream this production in partnership with OperaVision, enabling us to share this performance of Handel’s wondrous music with a wider national and international audience, in addition to showcasing the production values that can be achieved within a more sustainable framework.”

Patrick Terry as Ruggiero and Mari Askvik as Bradamante in rehearsal © Tom Arber

Alcina is part of Opera North’s Winter 2022 season, alongside a new production of Verdi’s Rigoletto directed by Femi Elufowoju jr, and Edward Dick’s production of Bizet’s Carmen.

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