Ludovico Ariosto

Orlando furioso

Carlomagno, Agramante, and their respective armies
The Christian and Saracen armies; the rivalry between Charlemagne and Agramante.

Bradamante and Melissa
Bradamante, in the cave with Melissa, hears about her future from Merlin’s skeleton. Bradamante arrives at an inn and seeks a servant to accompany her to Atlante’s castle. Melissa, in Merlin’s cave, summons a demon who informs her that Bradamante has lost Ruggiero, who is far away in Alcina’s island. Melissa commands the demon to take her there. (Videoclips 3, 4, and 6 from the puppet play “Astolfo nell’isola di Alcina dall’Orlando Furioso.”)

Ginevra and Ariodante
Ariodante’s beloved Ginevra is falsely accused of having taken a lover, a crime punishable by death in her father’s Scottish realm.

L’isola di Alcina
First Astolfo, and the Ruggiero, fall victim to Alcina’s charms, but the maga Melissa comes to the rescue.

Orlando lascia Parigi in cerca di Angelica
Orlando cannot sleep and decides to leave the Christian camp to search for Angelica.

Angelica and Ruggiero at Ebuda
After rescuing Angelica from the sea monster Ruggiero expects an amorous recompense but the damsel has other ideas.

Palazzo incantato (Astolfo)
Astolfo arrives at the palazzo incantato (or castello delle menzogne [puppet play]).

Doralice and Mandricardo
Doralice tells Mandricardo she sees Rodomonte approach; chooses Mandricardo over Rodomonte at Agramante’s camp; is fearful for his life prior to his battle againt Ruggiero; laments over his corpse.

Ricciardetto si finge Bradamante per amor di Fiordispina
Fiordispina desires Bradamante, mistaking her for a male knight. Bradamante explains she is a woman and offers her friendship. Fiordispina and Bradamante spend the night together. While Bradamante sleeps, Fiordispina laments her fate. Rinaldo informs his brothers that he has called them back to Montalbano because Agramante has assembled an army to invade Christendom. Bradamante arrives and explains she was delayed as a prisoner of love in Fiordispina’s castle. Ricciardetto plans to win over Fiordispina by impersonating his sister. After Ricciardetto (as Bradamante) is admitted into Fiordispina’s castle, Fiordispina and a naked Ricciardetto are in the bedroom. Fiordispina is elated upon hearing that Bradamante has been transformed into a male and proceeds to act on the good news.  Marsilio, upon discovering Ricciardetto in bed with his daughter, orders Fiordispina to be imprisoned and Ricciardetto to be burned at the stake.

The evil Gabrina tricks her husband’s best friend into killing him and then having sex with her.

Angelica & Medoro
Angelica encounters the wounded footsoldier Medoro; Angelica and Medoro have an amorous rendez-vous while Orlando sleeps; Angelica and Medoro take leave of their shepherd hosts.

Madness of Orlando
Orlando reads about Angelica and Medoro on the trees; the shepherd family tells Orlando about Angelica and Medoro’s love story, showing the bracelet they received as a gift from the princess; Orlando goes mad.

Rodomonte at the bridge
Rodomonte battles Orlando, Brandimarte, and Bradamante at the bridge near Isabella’s tomb.

Astolfo encounters hippogriff
After destroying the enchantment at the palazzo incantato (or castello delle menzogne), Astolfo discovers the hippogriff left behind when everyone else fled at the sound of his horn.

Prester John / Senapo
Astolfo arrives at the table of Senapo/Prester John and chases away the harpies that were defiling the priest king’s meals.

Astolfo on the moon
Astolfo gathers up Orlando’s wits (as well as his own) during his trip to the moon under the guidance of St John.

Orlando’s recovery
On the shores of Africa, Orlando inhales his wits and regains his sanity.

Battle of Lipadusa
Agamante despairs as he watches the fall of Biserta from the island of Lipadusa/Lampedusa, but Gradasso and Sobrino arrive and convince him to challenge the Christians to a final battle of three against three; Orlando, Olivero, and Brandimarte fight against Sobrino, Agramante, and Gradasso; Brandimarte’s death and funeral.

Bradamante and Ruggiero
Bradamante hears news of Ruggiero; Bradamante in Arles; Bradamante’s jealousy of Marfisa; Bradamante avenging Ruggiero’s death

Ruggiero, Bradamante, and Leone
Ruggiero asks Rinaldo permission to marry Bradamante and Rinaldo agrees; Leone’s ambassador arrives from Constantinople to ask Charlemagne for Bradamante’s hand in marriage to Leone: Ruggiero heads east to challenge Leone and participates in the war between the Bulgarians and Costantino on the side of the former; Ruggiero arrives at a castle seek refuge for the night.

Rodomonte’s final challenge
Rodomonte fights Ruggiero in Paris



Orlando dei pupi. Originale radiofonico di Gryzko Mascioni.  Text written by Gryzko Mascioni, narrated by Oreste Lionello with many voices portraying the different characters. Forty-six segments of around 15 minutes each.  Recorded in 1989. Radio Svizzera italiana (RSI). June 21 – August 23, 2021. Now available online.





See also “Music from the Orlando Furioso (operas)” on this site.



Literary Encyclopedia profile on Ludovico Ariosto (Jo Ann Cavallo)

Literary Encyclopedia profile on the Orlando Furioso (Jo Ann Cavallo)