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The magical opera Alcina was to be George Handel’s big-budget blockbuster of 1735. The tricked-out venue, Covent Garden, afforded him the opportunity to put on the kind of special-effects bonanza that the best in 18th-century powder-and-wig makeup and advanced rope-and-pulley technology allowed. Handel sought to further impress his provincial English audiences with the kind of sophisticated Continental flair that Alcina, based on the epic Italian poem Orlando Furioso, features: back-to-back solos littered with cadenzas, lots of cross-dressing, and heavy use of castratos—from the time when castration was the quickest route to success for aspiring opera singers. The three-act play involves such now familiar summer blockbuster formulas as orcs, magic rings, and hot babes who turn men into trees. No hobbits or quidditch games, but at least you won’t have to sit next to any overenthused nerds dressed as Dumbledore. Then again, maybe you will. The performance begins at 8 p.m. at the Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna. $68. (877) 965-3872.