Video on Demand at

BREMF@home: La liberazione di Ruggiero

Video on demand: a new film of Francesca Caccini's 1625 opera La liberazione di Ruggiero, in the style of Georges Méliès.

Date & Time: Video on Demand

Ticket price: £5


Premiered in 1625 La liberazione di Ruggiero is the first known opera by a female composer – a humorous and witty work with choruses of enchanted plants, monsters, exotic ladies and sea gods, a good and an evil sorceress and a rather easily seduced ‘hero’. Brighton Early Music Festival’s previous production of Ruggiero at The Old Market was one of The Guardian’s top ten operatic events of 2015.

In the summer of 2021, BREMF revisited Ruggiero with a talented cast of young and upcoming singers and players. The opera was the subject of a study course and filming project working under the inspiring direction of Tom Guthrie, who set the fantasy world of this early opera in the world of the equally fantastical early film pioneer and illusionist Georges Méliès. Blending modern techniques, such as green screen technology, with hand drawn backdrops and animation, this film captures the pioneering spirit of the early filmmakers, while also hinting at the stage machinery and effects developed in the early 17th century at the birth of opera.

BREMF Early Opera

Deborah Roberts and Oliver Webber musical directors
Thomas Guthrie director
Claire Williams continuo lead

Angela Hicks soprano Alcina
Kieran White tenor Ruggiero
Anna Bachleitner soprano Melissa / Nunzia
Elspeth Piggott soprano Sirena / 1st Water Deity
Kat Carson soprano 1st Damigella
Kristiina Watt soprano 2nd Damigella
Luthien Brackett mezzo-soprano 3rd Damigella / Female Monster
Marcella Di Garbo soprano 2nd Water Deity / Female Plant / Formerly Enchanted Lady
Peter Martin tenor Fiume Vistola / Pastore / Astolfo
Toshi Ogita tenor Male Plant / 3rd Water Deity
Stuart O’Hara bass-baritone Male Monster

Oliver Webber violin 1
Marguerite Wassermann violin 2
Olwen Foulkes violin 3, recorder
Iain Hall cello, tenor viol, recorder
Harry Buckoke bass viol, lirone
Jacob Garside bass viol
Isaline Leloup violone
Aileen Henry harp
Kristiina Watt chitarrone
Eric Thomas chitarrone
Claire Williams harpsichord, chamber organ

Members of The English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble:
Emily White, Peter Thornton, Tom Lees, Adrian France sackbuts

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and by the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Ambache Charitable Trust and individual donors to our Free Ruggiero! appeal.

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