Classical music

OAE: Handel’s Semele

Part of Classical Season

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 Ivor Bolton, who conducted the OAE’s award-winning production of Handel’s Saul for Glyndebourne, takes the conductor’s baton.


Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Ivor Bolton conductor
Louise Alder soprano, Semele
Xavier Sabata countertenor, Athamas
Jeremy Ovenden tenor, Jupiter
Brindley Sherratt bass, Somnus, Cadmus
Mary Bevan soprano, Iris
Sonia Prina mezzo-soprano, Juno


Handel: Semele


Royal Festival Hall
book now
Members and Supporters get priority. Join now

need to know

Performance time
Please note start time of 7pm.

Book multiple Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment events in the same transaction and receive a discount.

2 – 3 events (15% discount)
4 – 7 events (20% discount)
8 or more events (25% discount)

Children and student £5 tickets are available for every concert. These discounts, and the £5 tickets, are not available on Premium seats.

before & after

Exterior view of Foyles Bookshop at the Southbank Centre
Visit Foyles Bookshop for new titles and bestsellers on a wide range of subjects
Customers at the Southbank Centre Shops
Enjoy design-led products and gifts in our Festival Terrace Shop.