Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, Washington
I appreciate Francesca Caccini's remarkable opera La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall'Isola d'Alcina (1625) even more each time I hear it, the deceptively simple 80-minute work revealing more upon repeated listenings.
Choreographer Anna Mannsbridge and music director Stephen Stubbs have shaped a beautiful interpretation of this 400 year old work in this excellent new production at Cornish this weekend. Moreover, several of our Artist Diploma in Early Music students shine in convincing performances–Christine Knackstedt as Alcina and José Luis Muñoz as Melissa in particular–as well as Cornish faculty member Ross Hauck as Ruggiero.
Likewise, the design team of Montana Tippett (sets), Connie Yun (lights), and Cristine Meyers (costumes) succeed in fashioning a whimsical setting for the drama to unfold, all complemented by the wonderful supporting performances of a number of our undergraduate classical vocal students and the superb accompaniment of our early music faculty comprising the period instrument continuo ensemble propelling the action along. A most successful first outing for our early music program that contributes immeasurably to the 30+ year tradition of producing seldom-staged operas at Cornish.
Ross Hauck, tenor, as Ruggiero and Christine Knacksetedt, mezzo soprano, as Alcina (top). José Luis Muñoz, countertenor, as Melissa (bottom) in La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall'Isola d'Alcina.
Photos courtesy of Cornish College of the Arts, Michelle Smith-Lewis, photographer.