Review: From Vulcan With Love? “Alcina” at Theater an der Wien

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[Disconnections among ashes: David Hansen (Ruggiero), Katarina Bradić (Bradamante), Florian Köfler (Melisso), Mirella Hagen (Morgana) and Marlis Petersen (Alcina) in Handel’s “Alcina” at Theater an der Wien, Vienna 2018 – Photo Credit: Herwig Prammer.]

A volcano island landscape: past explosive passion hinted at by hardened stone. Who ever stalks through here has been set out to dry under the cool, dissecting lights turned onto that social formation called affection.

Tatjana Gürbaca’s new reading of Handel’s “Alcina” has nothing warm, nothing nostalgic or messily passionate, nothing of the sensuous, shifting ambiguity that seem so central to the opera. But does it work without it?

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