|John Eccles||Semele (1707)|
|concert performance of the opera with words by William Congreve|
Semele is a lively retelling of the story of Jupiter’s pursuit of the Theban princess. Juno plots her downfall by persuading her to insist on seeing him in his divine form, whereupon his thunderbolts consume her. Planned for the opening of London’s Italian opera house, Semele was never performed at the time, and the libretto is best known today from Handel’s later oratorio. Nevertheless, it is a highly dramatic and effective response to the text in an attractive idiom mixing English and Italian elements – think Purcell crossed with Corelli. It deserves to be much better known.
In this rare performance Peter Holman directs his regular team of singers and period instrument players. They are joined by Helen Charlston, who impressed everyone in our Bach concert last May and has just won the London Handel Competition, and Benjamin Bevan, recently attracting attention at English Touring Opera, English National Opera and Glyndebourne.
supported by The Anthony King Memorial Fund
performed in association with Opera Restor’d
Tickets: £18 (reserved) and £12 (unreserved)
half-price tickets for full-time students