The mezzo soprano Marianne Lihannah sings Almirena's aria and Liz Leachman is the pianist. Handel's Italian opera is a heroic story about battle and love, set in the time of the first crusade. Almirena's well-known aria is very beautiful and full of deep emotion. She has been abducted by the sorceress Armida and imprisoned in the palace, - she laments her fate " May the pain mercifully shatter the chains of my torment". This aria is simultaneously a prayer and an answer to it, intertwined and indistinguishable from each other. - Longing for solace while receiving it, - ingeniously expressed by Handel.