Radio 3's complete cycle of Handel's operas continues with Acts 1 and 2 of his tale of Alexander the Great's advance into India. After he capture one of its cities, the Macedonian king becomes embroiled in a complicated love triangle with two captive princesses. The composer used the rivalry between his original leading women - sopranos Faustina Bordoni and Francesca Cuzzoni - in his adaptation of the original material for the opera, giving them equal billing.
Handel expert Suzana Ograjensek - herself a soprano specialising in the Baroque repertory - explains the genesis of this work.
Handel: Alessandro (Acts 1 and 2)
Alessandro (the Great) ...... Rene Jacobs (countertenor)
Rossane, captive princess ...... Sophie Boulin (soprano)
Lisaura, captive princess too ...... Isabelle Poulenard (soprano)
Tassile, Indian King ...... Jean Nirouet (countertenor)
Clito, Alexander's sidekick ...... Stephen Varcoe (baritone)
Leonato, ditto ...... Guy de Mey (tenor)
Cleone, ditto ...... Ria Bollen (mezzo-soprano)
La Petite Bande
Sigiswald Kuijken (conductor).