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opera Handel's Semele Thomas Guthrie (stage director), John Eliot Gardiner (conductor) — With Louise Alder (Semele), Hugo Hymas (Jupiter), Lucile Richardot (Juno / Ino)

Thomas Guthrie (stage director), John Eliot Gardiner (conductor) — With Louise Alder (Semele), Hugo Hymas (Jupiter), Lucile Richardot (Juno / Ino)

Handel's Semele Thomas Guthrie (stage director), John Eliot Gardiner (conductor) — With Louise Alder (Semele), Hugo Hymas (Jupiter), Lucile Richardot (Juno / Ino)

About

Handel’s masterpiece Semele, first performed in London in 1744, is not technically an opera per se, but rather an oratorio perfectly suited to the stage, thanks to William Congreve’s brilliantly dramatic libretto that finds its roots in Ovid’s Metamorphoses

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Cast

  • Thomas Guthrie | Stage director
  • Rick Fisher | Lighting designer
  • Patricia Hofstede | Costumes
  • Louise Alder | Soprano (Semele)
  • Hugo Hymas | Tenor (Jupiter)
  • Lucile Richardot | Mezzo-soprano (Juno / Ino)
  • Carlo Vistoli | Countertenor (Athamas)
  • Gianluca Buratto | Bass (Cadmus / Somnus)
  • Emily Owen | Soprano (Iris)
  • Angela Hicks | Singer (Cupid)
  • Peter Davoren | Singer (Apollo)
  • Alison Ponsford-Hill | Singer (Endless Pleasure)
  • Angharad Rowlands | Singer (Endless Pleasure)
  • Daniel D'Souza | Singer (High Priest)
  • Robert Davies | Singer (High Priest)
  • Christopher Webb | Singer (High Priest)

Program

  • George Frideric Handel, Semele
    • Act I Overture
    • Gavotte
    • Scene 1: Accompagnato: 'Behold! Auspicious flashes rise' (High Priest)
    • Chorus: 'Lucky omens bless our rites'
    • Recit, arioso and duet: 'Daughter, obey' (Cadmus, Athamas)
    • Recitative: 'Ah me!' (Semele)
    • Aria: 'O Jove! In pity teach me which to choose' (Semele)
    • Recitative: 'Alas! she yields' (Ino, Athamas)
    • Quartet: 'Why dost thou thus untimely grieve' (Cadmus, Ino, Athamas, Semele)
    • Chorus: 'Avert these omens, all ye pow'rs'
    • Recit: 'Again auspicious flashes rise' (Athamas) - Recit: 'Thy aid, pronubial Juno, Athamas implores!' (Athamas, Semele)
    • Chorus: 'Cease, cease your vows, 'tis impious to proceed'
    • Scene 2: Recit: 'Turn, hopeless lover, turn thy eyes (Ino) - Recit: 'She weeps!' (Athamas)
    • Aria: 'Your tuneful voice my tale would tell' (Athamas)
    • Recitative: 'Too well I see' (Ino, Athamas)
    • Duet: 'You've undone me' (Ino, Athamas)
    • Scene 3: Recit: 'Ah! wreched prince, doom'd to disastrous love!' (Cadmus, Athamas) - Accompagnato: 'Wing'd with our fears and pious hate' (Cadmus)
    • Scene 4: Chorus: 'Hail Cadmus, hail!'
    • Aria and Chorus: 'Endless pleasure, endless love' (Augur, Chorus)
    • Act II Sinfonia
    • Scene 1: Recitative: 'Iris, impatient of thy stay' (Juno, Iris)
    • Aria: 'There, from mortal cares retiring' (Iris) - Recitative: 'No more, I'll hear no more' (Juno)
    • Accompagnato: 'Awake, Saturnia, from thy lehargy!' (Juno) - Recit: 'Hear, might queen, while I recount' (Iris) - Accompagnato: 'With adamant the gates are barr'd' (Iris)
    • Aria: 'Hence, Iris, hence away' (Juno)
    • Scene 2: Aria: 'Come, zephyrs, come, while Cupid sings' (Cupid)
    • Aria: 'O sleep, why dost thou leave me' (Semele)
    • Scene 3: Recitative: 'Let me not another moment' (Semele)
    • Aria: 'Lay your doubts and fears aside' (Jupiter)
    • Recitative: 'You are mortal and require' (Jupiter)
    • Aria: 'With fond desiring' (Semele)
    • Chorus: 'How engaging, how endearing'
    • Recitative: 'Ah, me!' - 'Why sighs my Semele?' (Semele, Jupiter)
    • Aria: 'I must with speed amuse her' (Jupiter)
    • Chorus: 'Now Love that everlasting boy invites'
    • Recitative: 'By my command' (Jupiter, Semele)
    • Aria: 'Wher'er you walk, cool gales shall fan the glade' (Jupiter)
    • Scene 4: Recitative: 'Dear sister, how was your passage hither?' (Semele, Ino)
    • Aria: 'But hark! the heav'nly sphere turns round' (Ino)
    • Duet: 'Prepare then, ye immortal choir' (Semele, Ino)
    • Chorus: 'Bless the glad earth with heav'nly lays'
    • Act III Sinfonia
    • Scene 1: Accompagnato: 'Somnus, awake' (Juno, Iris)
    • Aria: 'Leave me, loathsome light' (Somnus)
    • Recitative: 'Dull God, canst thou attend the water's fall' (Iris, Juno)
    • Aria: 'More sweet is that name' (Somnus)
    • Recitative: 'My will obey' (Juno, Somnus)
    • Duet: 'Obey my will, thy rod resign' (Juno, Somnus)
    • Scene 2: Aria: 'My racking thoughts by no kind slumbers freed' (Semele)
    • Scene 3: Recitative: 'Thus shap'd like Ino' (Juno, Semele)
    • Aria: 'Myself I shall adore' (Semele)
    • Recit: 'Be wise as you are beautiful' (Juno, Semele) - Accompagnato: 'Conjure him by his oath' (Juno)
    • Aria: 'Thus let my thanks be paid' (Semele)
    • Recitative : 'Rich odours fill the fragrant air' (Juno, Semele)
    • Scene 4: Aria: 'Come to my arms, my lovely fair' (Jupiter)
    • Recitative: 'O Semele!' (Jupiter) - Aria: 'I ever am granting' (Semele)
    • Recit: 'Speak, speak your desire' (Jupiter, Semele) - Accompagnato: 'By that tremendous flood, I swear' (Jupiter) - Recit: 'You'll grant what I require?' (Semele, Jupiter) - Accompagnato: 'Then cast off this human shape which you wear' (Semele)
    • Aria: 'Ah, take heed what you press' (Jupiter)
    • Aria: 'No, no, I'll take no less' (Semele)
    • Scene 5: Accompagnato: 'Ah, whither is she gone, unhappy fair?' (Jupiter)
    • Scene 6: Aria: 'Above measure' (Juno)
    • Scene 7: Accompagnato: 'Ah me! Too late I now repent' (Semele)
    • Scene 8: Chorus: 'O terror and astonishment!'
    • Recitative: 'How I was hence remov'd' (Ino, Cadmus, Athamas)
    • Aria: 'Despair no more shall wound me' (Athamas)
    • Recitative: 'See from above the bellying clouds descend' (Cadmus)
    • Scene 9: Sinfonia
    • Accompagnato: 'Apollo comes, to relieve your care' (Apollo)
    • Chorus: 'Happy, happy shall we be'

Details

  • Directed by:
    • Robert Kealey
  • Venue: Alexandra Palace Theater (London, Great Britain)
  • Production date: 2020
  • Recording date: 2019
  • Duration: 2 h 48 min
  • Production: © The Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras Limited
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