Alcina Artist Interviews: Shira Caplan

In this series, Artist Interviews, we hear what our artists have to say about the project they're currently part of...

Shira Caplan, who sings the role of Morgana, gives some insight on her character and what it's like to be the sister to an evil sorceress:

Coloratura soprano, Shira Caplan

Coloratura soprano, Shira Caplan

What has been the most interesting part of learning the role of Morgana?

Most challenging? This whole process has been a lot of fun, especially the stage work with Antigoni and watching everything come to life. The most interesting and challenging part for me has been figuring out who Morgana really is and what her connection between Bradamante and Oronte is. Is she evil? Does she really love Bradamante/Ricciardo? How genuine is she in her last aria to Oronte? I actually find myself feeling sorry for her more than anything. I believe she really did have this hope of real love with Ricciardo. In our cast's discussions with each other and with Antigoni (our stage director), we decided that Oronte was "allowed" to be Morgana's lover by Alcina - he's Alcina's leftovers and I imagine that's all Morgana gets - whatever Alcina will let her have. Bradamante was shiny and new and could have been Morgana's alone. I think she was genuinely hurt when she discovered Bradamante's deception. In her last aria "Credete al mio dolore" I don't believe her love for Oronte is genuine, but Handel wrote the music so incredibly beautiful that he had to have meant for her pain to be real. I think that pain is her loss of hope for finding love and her fear of being alone. 

What was your experience with Baroque opera before Alcina? 

I haven't done much baroque music. This is the first time, and I have really enjoyed it.

How would you describe Morgana's relationship with Alcina? 

Definitely not a healthy relationship. Alcina is manipulative and controlling and I think Morgana loves and looks up to her big sister with rose-tinted glasses. 

You have sisters in your real life, right? Did those real-life relationships influence how you approached Morgana as a character? 

I have 3 sisters...I won't compare any of my sisters to evil Alcina, but having sisters can certainly help me understand Morgana's loyalty to Alcina. Sisters can be pretty nasty. Brothers throw punches at each other but sisters cut much deeper and leave emotional scars...and then five minutes later we're best friends again! No matter how flawed or evil Alcina is, her little sister will always love her, stand by her and run to her defense.

Come see Shira in the role of Morgana on March 6th!

Event details and tickets are available here.