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Semele
Sun, 15. Dec 2019, 18:00

Georg Friedrich Händel

Baroque opera in three acts [1744]

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Semele

The god of gods, Jupiter, kidnaps and seduces the king’s daughter Semele whose ambition, stoked by Jupiter’s jealous wife, Juno, leads to ruin. In the end, love is not the only thing reduced to ashes.
Director Barrie Kosky depicts the gods as suffering human beings, bringing them close to the viewers. »A pessimistic, serious, yet touching and thoughtful interpretation. Closer to the baroque cult of death – a lament about the fragility of existence  – than to a (also baroque) celebration of joy and abundance.« [BR Klassik]
Despite the splendid choirs typical of oratorios and the expressive arias which did not have to adhere to the rigid formula of opera seria, Handel’s contemporaries turned their noses up at the saucily erotic and more than a little humorous subject matter, which they deemed to be wholly inappropriate for an oratorio. Yet that all quickly changed. Today, Semele is one of the most popular works penned by Georg Friedrich Handel. Baroque specialist Konrad Junghänel, and artistic director Barrie Kosky discover the female will to power in the Ovidian myth. Libretto by William Congreve

Werkinfo:
Baroque opera in three acts [1744]