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Serse

Georg Friedrich Handel

Handel’s rarely performed Serse championed here by highly promising singers Emily D’Angelo and Jakub Józef Orliński. 

Emily D'Angelo - Jakub Józef Orliński
Emily D'Angelo © Columbia Artists - Jakub Józef Orliński © Jiyang Chen

Cast

Emily D’Angelo Serse
Mari Eriksmoen Romilda
Jakub Józef Orliński Arsamene
Emőke Baráth Atalanta
Lucile Richardot Amastre
Luigi De Donato Ariodate
Biagio Pizzuti Elviro

David Bates direction
Opéra de Rouen Normandie Orchestra

Sung in Italian with French and English subtitles

Serse is one of the last operas by this composer who, as an experienced theatre manager, was beginning to sense that the genre had peaked and was gradually losing favour with audiences. He therefore turned his attention to oratorios and Serse heralds this final form. The work was first staged in 1738 and was performed just five times before sinking into oblivion for two centuries. It features the famous aria “Ombra mai fu” which we now know owes more to Bononcini (who composed a Serse in Rome in 1694) than to Handel. Handel reworked the libretto originally written for Cavalli, but fortunately retained the characteristic traits of Venetian opera with its blend of comic and tragic scenes.

Production Les Grandes Voix

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