Orlando is an opera seria in three acts written for the King’s Theatre in London in 1733. The libretto in Italian was adapted from Carlo Sigismondo Capece’s “L’Orlando” after Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso, which was also the source of Handel’s operas Alcina and Ariodante.
The story of the opera tells about the love story between the knight Orland, queen Angelica, prince Medoro and shepherdess Dorinda.
Orlando falls desperately in love with the princess Angelica, but she turns love to another man, Medoro. Orlando cannot accept this and he is driven to madness. At his moment, Dorinda looks like Venus under his eyes and he declares his love for her. After that, Orlando tries to kill Medoro, which is prevented by the magician Zoroastro secretly. Angelica goes to Orlando and wants him to kill her, because she taught Medoro is dead already. At the end, Zoroastro heals Orlando by using magic potion. Orlando awakes and he is happy that Angelica and Medoro are saved. He overjoys to see them and wishes them a happy life together. Dorinda will forget her sorrow and invites everyone to her cottage to celebrate.
In the fifth Szene of Act three: Medoro became separated from Angelica in the confusion and has returned to Dorinda’s hut. He tells her he would love her if he could, but his heart is not his to give. Dorinda comments on the whirlwind of passions caused by love and sings the aria “Amore è qual vento”.