Bradamante: guerriera innamorata – Female warrior in love


The Sibelius Academy opera students, orchestra and choir will bring to stage their interpretation on G.F. Händel's opera Alcina. Each students has also explored the backgrounds and character of their own role. in the Opera behind the scenes blog they will present their characters in texts that are written together with opera researcher Liisamaija Hautsalo. They also came up with a specific motto or each character! Isabella Shaw presents Bradamante.

Bradamante is a female warrior, who first appears in G.F. Handel’s (1685–1759) Alcina (1735) in male clothing, disguised as her brother (the knight Ricciardo). She arrives on Alcina’s island to rescue her beloved, Ruggiero.

In Handel’s opera, Bradamante is a primary instigator to action. Her motivations, as described in her arias, are love for Ruggiero, jealousy, and a desire for vengeance. It is her quest to rescue Ruggiero that sets the story in motion. Yet in this story, without a quest, she would be empty, unfulfilled. Once Ruggiero has recognized her, breaking his enchantment, she refuses to leave the island until every enchanted person has been set free. This could be attributed to her virtuous nature, or her need to continue to fight, or both. The music she is given suggests her martial prowess; there are few moments of tenderness or introspection in Bradamante’s arias. In Riccardo Broschi’s (1698–1756) original libretto, Bradamante is the one to strip away the veil of Alcina’s enchantments with the text that forms Ruggiero’s famous aria, “Verdi prati” ("Green meadows").

Bradamante’s key ally in this story is Melisso, a warrior of high status and Ruggiero’s former tutor. Bradamante’s text gives her traditionally heroic, “fiery” emotions to spur her on; a desire for vengeance, anger, jealousy, and beneath it, the pain of having been betrayed in love, and longing. It feels that she is of a restless, “choleric” temperament, that she needs to fight, and that without the next quest, her whole reason for being would be called into question. Thus, in some ways, it seems that the process of rescuing Ruggiero is in some ways more important than the result. This attitude or need can be seen in many male knight characters in literature and stories, who live for the quest. Bradamante is also one of the few characters in this story who is unmistakably human; she is never enchanted and, while able to disguise herself, never sees “falsely”. Her solution even when dealing with the magic urn containing Alcina’s power is to take up arms and run straight at the obstacle. She is also confident in her physical power, saying that she will not believe the spell broken unless she breaks the urn with her own hand. She is fearless, but prone to heroics. My sense is that Bradamante would be completely content to have an epic final battle and die in glory rather than deal with the logistics of leaving the island alive. Bradamante alone seems to have the ability to resist all enchantment simply by being herself.


Mitä tapahtuu G.F. Händelin Alcinassa?

Ritari Melisso ja mieheksi naamioitunut Bradamante lähtevät pelastamaan Bradamanten rakastettua, Ruggieroa, jonka velho Alcina on vanginnut lumotulle saarelleen. Saarella asuu myös Alcinan sisar ja Oronten rakastettu, velho Morgana. Pelastajien saapuminen aiheuttaa mustasukkaisuutta parin välille, sillä Morgana rakastuu naamioituneeseen Bradamanteen. Bradamante vapauttaa Ruggieron Alcinan lumouksesta, ja lopulta kaikki Alcinan metsänpedoiksi ja kiviksi loihtimat miehet saavat takaisin ihmismuotonsa. Alcina ja Morgana näyttävät haihtuvan savuna ilmaan.


G.F.Händel: Alcina

Sibelius-Akatemian ooppera, orkesteri ja kuoro
Vilppu Kiljunen, ohjaus
I-Han Fu ja Sebastian Zinca, musiikinjohto
Jari Koivistoinen, kuoronjohto
Minna Kangas, orkesterin valmennus ja konserttimestari
Aapo Häkkinen, musiikillinen asiantuntija
AALTO Artsin opiskelijat; Riikka Mäntymaa, Csilla Szlovák ja Elina Ström, Sofia Pantouvakin johdolla, pukusuunnittelu
Tuija Luukkainen, maskeeraussuunnittelu
Sirje Ruohtula, valo- ja tilasuunnittelu


Alcina: Réka Bata
Morgana: Minna-Leena Lahti
Ruggiero: Rachel McIntosh
Bradamante: Ricciardo Isabella Shaw
Oronte: Topias Lundell
Melisso: Jussi Vänttinen / Henri Tikkanen


Pe 5.4. 18.30
La 6.4. 16.00
Su 7.4. 16.00
Ti 9.4. 18.30
Sonore, Musiikkitalo

Ma 15.4. klo 18.30
Sibelius-sali, Järvenpää-talo, Hallintokatu 4, Järvenpää