SEMELE. Music by George Frideric Handel. Based on a Libretto by William Congreve. Study Guide for Pacific Opera Victoria’s Production. Semele, HWV 58 (Handel, George Frideric) .. Based on a libretto for an English opera ca after Ovid’s Metamorphoses, with added texts from Alexander. Title page of word-book to Semele. Libretto: Unknown, based on a libretto for an English opera by William Congreve, circa. , from Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

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O sleep, why dost thou leave me? Juno and Iris arrive and wake Somnus Accompanied recitative: Why tremble those fair Eyes With interrupted Light?

Semele, HWV 58 (Handel, George Frideric)

Cadmus See from above the bellying Clouds descend, And big with some new Wonder this way tend. Semele sees Jupiter descend as a fiery cloud of lightning and thunder, laments her folly, and dies consumed in flames. Semele Swear by the Stygian Lake. The musical drama takes a similar shape to an opera, but Handel eyed a place for it on the Covent Garden Theatre’s oratorio-centered Lenten season of public concerts the following February Juno apart Thus shaped like Ino.

Jove salutes the Theban King. It is clear from his re-arrangement of the librdtto that he considered this work an Italian opera in all but name.

Semele apart Thee Jove, and thee alone, Semele adores. Ah no, I cannot blame thee: She does her Passion own. Ino To me, I hope, of fortunate Event. AltoAct I, Sc. Whate’er I possess Soon seems an Excess.

Ino, Semele’s sister, now appears, also in a state of distress as she is in love with Athamas Quartet: And are you made Immortal? The God of Sleep lying on his Bed. Then cast off this human shape. Based on a pre-existent opera libretto by William Congrevethe work is an opera in all but name but was first presented in concert form at Covent Garden theatre on 10 February Handel’s text librettoo adapted by an unknown collaborator and he wrote the music in just over a month, from 3 June to 4 July Juno and Iris descend in different machines.


All celebrate the fortunate outcome Chorus: We were thirty subscribers, at two hundred pounds each, which was to last four years, and no other demands ever to be made.

The Scene is the Cave of Sleep. Arranger Ebenezer Proutpiano reduction. Semele awakes and regrets that the dream she was having of being with her lover has ended Aria: The music for these last two was slightly re-written, and Handel interpolated arias from Arminio, Giustino and Alcina.

How various, how tormenting, Are my Miseries! Ino, Athamas Love, love alone Has both undone.

So Semele wou’d melt To see another mourn. After this time, he concentrated on oratorio and musical dramas with English texts.

Semele – George Frideric Handel – Libretto in English –

These fueled an enthusiasm for the work that has not since lapsed. Speak— Ino Thou hast undone me. Juno in a chariot drawn by peacocks; Iris on a rainbow; they alight and meet.

The Scene is totally changed, and shews an open Country. Semele looking in the Glass. This was revived in by conductor Christophe Rousset. Juno promises he will have the nymph if he will lend her magical aid to put the dragons that guard the palace where Semele is ensconced as her husband’s mistress to sleep and transform her into the likeness of Semele’s sister Ino.


Now Love that everlasting boy invites.

HANDEL Semele – libretto

Semele O Sleep, why dost bandel leave me? Secular oratorios ; Oratorios ; For voices, mixed chorus, orchestra ; Scores featuring the voice ; Scores featuring mixed chorus ; Scores featuring the orchestra ; For handek and chorus with orchestra ; English language ; For trumpet, organ arr ; Scores featuring the trumpet ; Scores featuring the organ ; For 2 players ; For 3 recorders, continuo arr ; Scores featuring the recorder ; Scores with basso continuo ; For 3 players with continuo ; For organ arr ; For 1 player.

Act 3 Top Act 2. Later, on 1 and 8 DecemberHandel presented a revised version, this time at the King’s Theatre, after cutting four sections of dialogue containing sexual innuendo and making additions that included interspersed arias in Italian for the opera crowd from Arminio and Giustino. Cadmus, Athamas O Terror and Astonishment! There, from mortal cares retiring. Semelw Scene opening discovers Semele lying under a Canopy, leaning pensively.

Juno My Will obey, She shall be thine. Celestial Graces I discover in each Feature! Arrangements from the Scores of the Great Masters, Vol. The god Apollo descends on a hqndel and announces that the unborn child of Semele and Jupiter will arise from her ashes Accompanied recitative: