Alcina in Aix

Katie Mitchell’s production of Handel ‘s Alcina recorded at Aix-en-Provence in 2015 is extremely interesting.  It’s almost complete with maybe twenty minutes of the ballet music cut.  None of the ballet is actually staged as such.  It’s also a Mitchell special multi-space set (like Written on Skin) with the lower level having Alcina/Morgana’s boudoir, drawing room or whatever at any given moment flanked by two smaller spaces which are the “personal” spaces of the two sisters.  When the ladies withdraw from the public/enchanted space they are replaced by actresses who look decades older.  Only late in the piece as Alcina’s magic fades do the two worlds get confused.  The upper level of the set is taken up with the giant machine that turns Alcina’s victims into taxidermied animals.  The overall aesthetic is upscale modern with lots of actors as very competent servants.

2.alcina

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