Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

In the Orlando sequences by Matteo Boiardo and Lodovico Ariosto, Alcina is the sister of Morgana (see Morgan Le Fay), and personifies the intoxication of the senses. She governs a magic Island to which men are lured; once they are in her power, she Metamorphoses them into beasts or trees or rocks. Their Bondage seems irreversible until a young woman, Melissa, breaks the spell. Alcina is the subject of an Opera by George Friedrich Handel, Alcina (1735), with libretto by Antonio Marchi. [JC]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.