23 Jun 2020
We are very excited about the latest release on our SDG record label: Handel’s dramatic opera-oratorio Semele, which was recorded from a live performance at London’s Alexandra Palace Theatre in May 2019. This concert was part of a critically-acclaimed tour which saw the Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists and John Eliot Gardiner perform in Europe’s most prestigious venues. These performances gave audiences the chance to hear a fuller version of the work, notably with some passages by Handel very rarely heard in modern performances.
A glamorous team of young soloists joined the Monteverdi ensembles in this recording to bring the story of Semele to life. English soprano Louise Alder takes the title role, with the young tenor Hugo Hymas portraying the amorous Jupiter. French mezzo-soprano Lucile Richardot presents the dual roles of Juno, Jupiter’s jealous, machinating wife, and Ino, Semele’s sister. The international cast is completed by soloists familiar to our audiences; countertenor Carlo Vistoli and bass Gianluca Buratto.
Reviews from Alexandra Palace:
“Chorus and orchestra were consistently excellent – strings, as ever, brilliant in vigour and precision.”
Fiona Maddocks ★★★★ The Guardian
“The greatest joy of the evening was generated by the wonderfully crisp and rhythmically alert singing of the Monteverdi Choir.”
Rupert Chistiansen ★★★★ The Telegraph
“Not a dull moment in Semele at Alexandra Palace.”
Richard Fairman ★★★★ Financial Times
“Appropriately, the star turn was Louise Alder’s sizzling Semele, tremendously sung”
Mark Pullinger ★★★★ Bachtrack