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George Frideric Handel: Semele

Monteverdi Choir
English Baroque Soloists

Louise Alder (Semele), Hugo Hymas (Jupiter), Lucile Richardot (Juno / Ino), Carlo Vistoli (Athamas), Gianluca Buratto (Cadmus / Somnus), Emily Owen (Iris), Angela Hicks (Cupid), Peter Davoren (Apollo), Angharad Rowlands (Endless Pleasure), Christopher Webb (High Priest)
Thomas Guthrie, director; Rick Fisher, lighting designer; Patricia Hofstede costume designer
John Eliot Gardiner

In Spring 2019, the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, led by John Eliot Gardiner, presented a critically-acclaimed European tour of Handel’s opera Semele, including Alexandra Palace Theatre in London, where this live recording took place. Before the tour, Semele had not been performed by John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi ensembles since they originally recorded it in the 1980s and this recording gives audiences the chance to hear and to see a fuller version of the work, notably with some passages by Handel very rarely heard in modern performances. Close examination of Handel’s autograph (held in the British Library) and some fragmentary sketches (held in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge) reveals the complex series of revisions made by Handel.
A glamorous team of young soloists joins the Monteverdi ensembles to bring the story of Semele to life, including celebrated English soprano Louise Alder, who takes on the title role, with the young tenor Hugo Hymas portraying the amorous Jupiter.

A production by The Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras Limited

Recorded at the Alexandra Palace Theatre, London, United Kingdom


George Frideric Handel: Semele (Dramatic Oratorio in three acts), Libretto by William Congreve


Prog. No.
Music genre
180 mins
Robert Kealey
Stagecast Limited
Production year