Alcina is an opera seria by George Frideric Handel. The libretto's author is unknown, but the plot is taken (like those of the Handel operas Orlando and Ariodante) from Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando furioso, an epic poem set in the time of Charlemagne's wars against Islam.
Alcina was composed for Handel's first season at the Covent Garden Theatre, London. It premiered on April 16, 1735. Like the composer's other works in the opera seria genre, it fell into obscurity; after a revival in Brunswick in 1738 it was not performed again until a production in Leipzig in 1928.
The Australian soprano Joan Sutherland sang the role in a production by Franco Zeffirelli in which she made her debut at La Fenice in February 1960 and at the Dallas Opera in November of that year.
Since 2005 the Bavarian State Opera is staging the work in Munich with Anja Harteros in the title role and Vesselina Kasarova as Ruggiero.
The plot of Alcina concerns the sixth and seventh cantos of Orlando furioso, which tell of a knight, Ruggiero, enslaved by the sorceress Alcina. Bradamante, Ruggiero's fiancée, and her companion Melisso rescue Ruggiero by breaking Alcina's enchantments, in the process freeing her former lovers whom she had turned into beasts, rocks, waves, and sand.