International cast to perform excerpts from Handel's 'Alcina'

CIM's Alison Garrigan designed the costume, sketched above, for Morgana, Alcina's sister.

The FYI: Opera program on Wednesday, Oct. 8, features four talented voices from three countries, who will present an enticing menu of music created by George Frideric Handel almost three centuries ago.

David Bamberger, artistic director of the Cleveland Institute of Music Opera Theater, will narrate the convoluted tale of love that Handel’s music relates and music director John Simmons will accompany the voice students at the piano.This exceptional music event takes place at Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road. 

Be it 1735 or 2014 love and lovers are a fascinating subject. Handel saw possibilities in the plot set on an enchanted island, ruled by a beautiful sorceress who wins lovers by casting spells over them, prompting a deserted fiancé, determined to recover her man, to infiltrate the island. 

The CIM voice students who will present this appetizer of Handel’s "Alcina" are Maria José Badano of Uruguay singing the title role of Alcina and Huiyu Zhang of China as Bradamante, the heroic woman out to save her lover. Two Americans round out the cast, Rachel Kunce as Alcina’s somewhat wacky younger sister Morgana and Kevin Adamik as Morgana’s would-be lover Oronte.

Handel’s opera "Alcina" premiered at the Covent Garden Theatre, London, on April 16, 1735. More than 200 years later, in 1960, Australian soprano Joan Sutherland made her debut in Venice, Italy, in the role of Alcina and Renee Fleming sang the title role in 1999.

The Oct. 8 program is part of the FYI: Opera series which the Westlake-Westshore Arts Council has sponsored for over a quarter of a century, offering the programs FREE to the public. The FYI program offers an inviting sample of CIM’s fully costumed production of "Alcina," which will be performed Nov. 5 and 8 at CIM’s Kulas Hall in University Circle. Information and tickets for CIM’s production are available at or call 216-795-3211.

Louise Seeholzer

Publicist for Westlake-Westshore Arts Council

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Volume 6, Issue 20, Posted 9:56 AM, 09.30.2014