Orlando Paladino

Haydn’s Orlando Paladino is a “heroic comedy” based, of course, on Ariosto.  In this version Angelica, queen of Cathay, and her lover Medoro have fled to a remote castle to get away from Orlando who is in love, of course, with Angelica.  There’s a shepherd and shepherdess, a sorceress, a squire and Rodomonte, the king of Barbary thrown into the mix and various misadventures ensue until the sorceress, Alcina, dips Orlando into the waters of Lethe causing him to forget being in love with Angelica and it all ends happily.  There are also a bunch of non-singing characters who, I think represent the “dangerous” people of this remote country.  For reasons I haven’t quite fathomed they include a bishop and a bearded air hostess.

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