The Monteverdi Choir & English Baroque Soloists, led by John Eliot Gardiner, perform Handel’s sexiest opera: Semele.
In a concert-staging directed by Thomas Guthrie, a glamorous team of young soloists bring the music of Semele to life. The title role will be presented by the acclaimed English soprano Louise Alder, with tenor Hugo Hymas stepping into the role of the amorous Jupiter. French mezzo-soprano Lucile Richardot will take on the dual roles of Juno, Jupiter’s jealous, machinating wife, and Ino, Semele’s sister. The international cast is completed by countertenor Carlo Vistoli and bass Gianluca Buratto.
This performance forms part of a prestigious European tour which will visit a handful of world-famous concert halls; the Philharmonie in Paris, Barcelona’s Palau de la Música, Milan’s Teatro alla Scala and Sala Santa Cecilia in Rome.
The story of Semele
The powerful god Jupiter seduces the beautiful mortal Semele, taking her as his mistress and building her a sumptuous palace on Mount Cithaeron. When Jupiter’s jealous wife Juno hears of his infidelity, she swears vengeance and – with the help of Somnus, god of sleep – plots Semele’s downfall.
Juno visits Semele in disguise and appeals to her dangerous ambitions of immortality, persuading her to demand on making love to Jupiter in his divine form. Jupiter, unable to deny her, transforms into his blazing cloud of thunder and lightning – to an ultimately tragic end…
Please note latecomers will not be admitted.