Autumn 1940. Orlando, an RAF pilot and war hero, is admitted to a private London hospital. Torn between his love for his country and his overwhelming desire for American socialite Angelica, he swings from euphoric highs to psychotic lows, closely monitored by his psychiatrist, Zoroastro. Angelica, in turn, longs only for Medoro, Orlando’s fellow patient, and dreams of their escape from war-ravaged London to the as yet untouched USA.
This jewel of Baroque opera has a plot based more in myth than reality, but director Harry Fehr’s intelligent adaptation unearths new meaning in the context of the Second World War. The stylish production captures the glitz and glamour of the late 1930s, contrasting starkly with the imminent devastation of the Blitz.
Handel’s music effortlessly captures the twists and turns of the characters’ struggles with duty, love and loss - from the wild delusions of Orlando’s madness to Angelica’s wonderfully plaintive melodies. Celebrated counter-tenor Tim Mead sings Orlando. Sally Silver, Lucia in 2007’s Lucia di Lammermoor, and who ‘stole the show’ (The Scotsman) in 2008’s I Puritani, sings Angelica. Paul Goodwin, who has recently been awarded the Handel Honorary Prize of the City of Halle, conducts.
Orlando was performed at:
Theatre Royal Glasgow
Tue 15 Feb 2011
Sat 19 Feb 2011
Sat 26 Feb 2011
Orlando Unwrapped - Fri 18 Feb 2011
Festival Theatre Edinburgh
Thu 3 Mar 2011
Sat 5 Mar 2011
Orlando Unwrapped - Wed 2 Mar 2011
Sung in English with English supertitles Running time approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes