Ruth Leon recommends… Semele – George Frederic Handel

Ruth Leon recommends… Semele – George Frederic Handel

Ruth Leon recommends

norman lebrecht

June 24, 2022

Semele – George Frederic Handel

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18th-century British aristocracy were shocked when their favourite composer, Handel, presented Semele during the Lent season. Expecting a solemn oratorio they were presented instead with a story of a sensual and adulterous relationship, and also some of Handel’s most exquisitely beautiful music.

Drawn from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the sensual story explores a love triangle between Jupiter, King of the Gods, his wife, the goddess Juno, and his lover, the mortal princess Semele.

Rarely performed these days, Handel’s Baroque masterpiece Semele is an exciting mix of opera and oratorio. This is Opera New Zealand’s production featuring period Baroque instruments, conducted by Peter Walls and directed by Rebecca Tansley. It stars Emma Pearson, Amitai Pati, Sarah Castle, Paul Whelan, Stephen Diaz, Chelsea Doman, Sashe Angelovski
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  • Andrewb says:

    So much to enjoy in this beautiful score. It also brings back happy memories of Valerie Masterson and Rosemary Joshua as Semele. Both outstanding in the role.