Orlando synopsis


Early autumn, 1940. West London


The great soldier Orlando is melancholic, torn between his love for Angelica and his duty to fight. Zoroastro encourages him to return to war. Orlando resolves that he will do so, but not give up Angelica.

Dorinda is unsettled by unusual feelings. Apparently seeing Orlando with his lover, she questions whether her own strange emotions could also be love.

Angelica confesses that she no longer loves Orlando, but is now in love with Medoro, a wounded soldier whom she has helped. They plan to return together to Angelica’s homeland. Medoro has recognized that Dorinda has also fallen in love with him while tending to his wounds, and allows her to believe  that her love is reciprocated. Dorinda suspects his true feelings lie elsewhere.

Zoroastro warns Angelica to be wary of Orlando’s anger should he discover her relationship with Medoro. To hide the truth of her infidelity, she feigns jealousy of Orlando’s relationship with another woman. Orlando grows manic, and Angelica and Medoro resolve to leave as soon as possible. As they embrace, Dorinda discovers them. They confess their relationship, and Angelica gives Dorinda a ring in thanks for her care of Medoro.


Orlando discovers the ring, which he once gave to Angelica, and realizes that she has been unfaithful to him.

Angelica and Medoro prepare to leave. Orlando discovers further evidence of their relationship and attacks Angelica. Angelica escapes and Orlando begins to hallucinate.


Medoro attempts to justify his deceit to Dorinda. When he has left her, she discovers Orlando.

Dorinda explains to Angelica that Orlando is psychotic.

Zoroastro resolves on a plan to cure Orlando not only of his psychosis, but also of his melancholy. 

Dorinda tells Angelica that Orlando, in his madness, has killed Medoro. Angelica begs Orlando to kill her too, and he attacks her again, before falling asleep.

On waking, Orlando is cured. When he hears of his actions while raving, he resolves to kill himself, but Angelica begs him not to. He vows to control himself in the future, and accepts the loss of Angelica.

Courtesy of Scottish Opera