English Baroque Soloists
John Eliot Gardiner - conductor
Thomas Guthrie - director
Rick Fisher - lighting designer
Patricia Hofstede - costume designer
In Spring 2019, the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, led by John Eliot Gardiner, presented a tour of Handel’s Semele. This project saw the ensembles showcase the work in a handful of prestigious venues across Europe: the Philharmonie in Paris, Barcelona’s Palau de la Música, the recently-restored Alexandra Palace Theatre in London, Milan’s Teatro alla Scala and Rome’s Sala Santa Cecilia.
Semele had not been performed by John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi ensembles since they recorded it in the 1980s (the recording described by BBC Music Magazine as the ‘best-conducted Semele on disc’): and the 2019 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. 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.
In a concert-staging directed by Thomas Guthrie, a glamorous team of young soloists joined the Monteverdi ensembles to bring the story of Semele to life. English soprano Louise Alder took on the title role, with the young tenor Hugo Hymas portraying the amorous Jupiter. French mezzo-soprano Lucile Richardot presented the dual roles of Juno, Jupiter’s jealous, machinating wife, and Ino, Semele’s sister. The international cast was completed by soloists familiar to our audiences; countertenor Carlo Vistoli and bass Gianluca Buratto.
“The show is a revelation” - Biagio Scuderi – Amadeus
Click here for more reviews from the tour.
Click here for production images from the tour.
Philharmonie de Paris
Monday 8 April 2019 at 7.30pm
Palau de la Música, Barcelona
Wednesday 24 April 2019 at 8.00pm
Alexandra Palace, London
Thursday 2 May 2019 at 7.30pm
Teatro alla Scala, Milan
Monday 6 May 2019 at 8.00pm
Sala Santa Cecilia, Rome
Wednesday 8 May 2019 at 8.30pm