This first production of a baroque opera at the Latvian National Opera was a great success, and continues to entice audiences with its unusual, magical world. Beyond the seven seas lies a world created by the beautiful sorceress Alcina. This world, ruled by the power of beauty and enjoyment, is eventually destroyed by faithful love, and Alcina is fated to feel human emotions - anger, jealousy, revenge, pain, and irrevocable loss. Almost like a fairy tale, reminiscent of life.
The charming sorceresses Alcina takes pleasure in luring wandering heroes - fortune seekers to her enchanted island and then turn them into dumb half-alive creatures. Her latest captive is the knight Ruggiero, as yet not transformed.
Ruggiero's betrothed Bradamante and her governor Melisso arrive on the island. Bradamante is disguised as her brother Ricciardo. The newcomers are met by Alcina's sister Morgana who falls in love with "Ricciardo" at first sight - Cupid's dart strikes deeply.
Morgana takes both the visitors to Alcina's palace; a party - carnival is in full swing there and some chosen dumb captives have been allowed to participate. They meet Alcina and Ruggiero who is fully under the spell of Alcina and is leading a life as if in a gilded cage and he has no memory of Bradamante.
On the island is the boy Oberto searching for his father Astolfo. Then appears Alcina's general Oronte who loves Morgana and is annoyed at Morganas interest in "Ricciardo". He challenges "Ricciardo" to fight, still Bradamante manages to escape the unpleasant situation.
Ruggiero and Oronte contemplate about love, faithfulness and constancy. Ruggiero, provocated by Oronte, is jealous of the newcomer.
Ruggiero is wandering around Alcina's enchanted gardens. Melisso who resembles Ruggiero's old tutor Atlante meets him and by relieving him of magic manages to display to Alcina's captive the oddities of the island. Bradamante who is hurrying to meet Ruggiero seems to him as another oddity that he views consciously for the first time. Following Melisso's instructions Ruggiero gets leave from Alcina to go hunting.
Oberto appears again and is inquiring after his father. Alcina assures the boy that he will soon se him. Oronte brings the news that Ruggiero has fled. Alcina's aria Ah! Mio caro reveals her true sorrow about Ruggiero's betrayal, it is the first time in her life that she has been abandoned by anybody, if is the first time when she is weeping.
Bradamante and Ruggiero decide to struggle against Alcina together. By telling about the planned flight of the two Oronte tries to open the eyes of Morgana who afterwards goes to warn her sister Alcina. In the meanwhile Ruggiero bids a farewell to the island whose oddities still linger on his mind.
In her subterranean cavern Alcina calls on her subordinates to prevent Ruggiero's flight but for the first time they refuse to obey her. Ever increasing sorrow is heard in the laments of the once mighty sorceress. When asleep Alcina has different dreams, bad and nice, and her strength is renewed.
Alcina has regained her strength. Orante pretends to be indifferent to Morgana, thus prompting her to concess her love for him. Morgana manages to captive Oronte again. Alcina encounters Ruggiero and finding him adamant in his love for Bradamante vows vengeance. Ruggiero will be forgiven in case returns to her.
Oronte reports to Alcina that her warriors have lost their magic powers. Alcina senses the inevitable loss of her powers and her realm.
Oberto appears on the scene. Alcina orders him to kill one of the dumb and gives him her sword. The boy recognizes in him his father and threatens Alcina.
Alcina pleads for mercy to Ruggiero and Bradamante, but it is not shown to her. Ruggiero grants freedom only to general Oronte. Alcina and Morgana appeal repeated for mercy, but Bradamante and Ruggiero are unrelenting. Ruggiero tears off the veil of Alcina's power and the transformed dumb travellers (Oberto's father Astolfo among them) regain speech and their true forms. Now all may again resume looking for their place in life.