Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

In the Orlando sequences by Matteo Boiardo and Lodovico Ariosto, Alcina is the sister of Morgana (> 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.