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    George Frideric Handel 

    One of Handel’s last works performed by a world-class team including Pretty Yende, Ben Bliss, and Emmanuelle Haïm.

    Dessin de maquette de décor de Semele © Annemarie Woods
    Maquette de décor de Semele © Annemarie Woods
    Photo d'Emmanuelle Haïm © Marianne Rosensthiel, Olivier Mears - Droits réservés
    Emmanuelle Haïm © Marianne Rosensthiel, Olivier Mears - Droits réservés

    Emmanuelle Haïm | direction
    Oliver Mears | staging 
    Annemarie Woods | scenography & costumes 
    Sarah Fahie | choreography 
    Fabiana Piccioli | lights

    Pretty Yende | Semele 
    Ben Bliss | Jupiter
    Alice Coote | Juno
    Brindley Sherratt | Cadmus / Somnus
    Niamh O’Sullivan | Ino
    Carlo Vistoli | Athamas
    Marianna Hovanisyan | Iris

    Le Concert d’Astrée Orchestra 
    Le Concert d’Astrée Choir  | direction Richard Wilberforce

    Semele is the fullest expression of the oratorio form which is a feature of Handel’s last compositions. In the early 1740s, Italian opera in London fell out of fashion just as Handel was embarking on his final works. He composed Saul, L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, The Messiah, and Samson. Semele was his last oratorio in 1744 and was performed as written, without any staging or set, using the large choruses typical of the genre. However, a leopard does not change its spots, and everything about Semele shrieks opera, from the tragi-comic libretto and clever succession of scenes to the virtuosity of the arias for soloists. This is an opera that dare not speak its name, but which upholds the legacy of a lifetime of composition.
    Emmanuelle Haïm is well-versed in Handel, a composer whose works she has conducted for many years. In fact, she made her conducting debut here in January 2002 with a Handel programme (Apollo e Dafne and Il Delirio amoroso). This was followed by performances Europe-wide of Dixit Dominus, Tamerlano, Theodora, Il Trionfo, The Messiah, Charpentier, Lully, and even Mozart, (including a recent Semele at the Lille Opera House). Alice Coote’s Juno will make life difficult for lovers Ben Bliss (Jupiter) and Semele (Pretty Yende) right up until the final dénouement. A masterclass in vocal quality to be savoured wholeheartedly.

    Coproduction Théâtre des Champs-Elysées | Covent Garden Royal Opera House 
    Avec le soutien d’Aline Foriel-Destezet,Grand Mécène de la saison artistique du Théâtre des Champs-Elysées 
    Mediawan, mécène de l’opéra Semele