Classical music

OAE: Handel’s Semele

Part of Classical Season 2017/18

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Louise Alder, the exciting young soprano, team up for this performance of Handel’s provocative opera Semele.

Be careful what you wish for. You don’t always want to see your lover for who they really are.

When Handel premiered Semele in Covent Garden in 1744, he shocked audiences expecting something solemn for Lent with this steamy, sexy story of gods having affairs with mortals.

It’s still a sensuous evocation of the illusions and delusions of love. Semele is smitten with Jupiter, but you can’t just buy a house and start a family when you’ve fallen for a god.

Performed here in its entirety, enjoy extraordinary arias and probably the best chorus music in any of Handel’s operas.

Soprano Louise Alder stars in the title role, while Christophe Rousset, the inspirational director of French ensemble Les Talens Lyriques, takes the conductor’s baton.


Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Christophe Rousset conductor
Louise Alder soprano, Semele
Ray Chenez countertenor, Athamas
James Way tenor, Jupiter
Brindley Sherratt bass, Somnus, Cadmus
Rowan Pierce soprano, Iris
Catherine Wyn-Rogers mezzo-soprano, Juno
Ciara Hendrick mezzo-soprano, Ino
Jeremy Budd tenor, Apollo
Robert Davies bass, High Priest
Choir of the Enlightenment


Handel: Semele

Dates & times

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Royal Festival Hall


£10 - £75
Booking fee: £3.00 (Members £0.00)
£10, £25, £45, £75


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Performance time
Please note start time of 7pm.

Related events
Pre-concert event: 6pm, Level Five Function Room, Royal Festival Hall
The Six Varieties of Love, with Roman Krznaric: If Semele had a more sophisticated vision of love, could her story end in a different way?

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