Handel Semele at Alexandra Palace

​Monteverdi Choir
English Baroque Soloists
John Eliot Gardiner - conductor

Thomas Guthrie - director
Rick Fisher - lighting designer
Patricia Hofstede - costume designer

On Thursday 2 May 2019, the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, led by John Eliot Gardiner, brought a new production of Semele to “London’s oldest new theatre” at Alexandra Palace. This concert-staging of “Handel’s sexiest opera”, directed by Thomas Guthrie, was the only London date on a prestigious European tour. Featuring a young, glamorous cast of international soloists, the performance provided London audiences with a fuller version of the work, notably with some passages by Handel very rarely heard in modern performances.

Louise Alder - Semele
Hugo Hymas - Jupiter
Lucile Richardot - Juno
Carlo Vistoli - Athamus
Gianluca Buratto - Cadmus/Somnus

The powerful god Jupiter seduces the beautiful mortal Semele, taking her as his mistress and building her a sumptuous palace on Mount Cithaeron. When Jupiter’s jealous wife Juno hears of his infidelity, she swears vengeance and – with the help of Somnus, god of sleep – plots Semele’s downfall.

Juno visits Semele in disguise and appeals to her dangerous ambitions of immortality, persuading her to insist on making love to Jupiter in his divine form. Jupiter, unable to deny her, transforms into a blazing cloud of lightning and thunder – to an ultimately tragic end…

Click here for full synopsis

Alexandra Palace Theatre
The newly-renovated Victorian theatre at Alexandra Palace provides London with a historic, charming, and unique performing arts venue. Construction for the restoration project began in 2016 following years of research and design, and has breathed new life into a space that has been hidden for over 80 years. The result is a space that retains the charm and character of the theatre while being fit to host contemporary productions - a perfect setting for our new production of Handel’s masterpiece.


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