MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

A Ravishingly Entertaining Semele Alights in Seattle

Brenda Rae (Semele) and Alek Shrader (Jupiter); (c) Elise Bakketun

Brenda Rae (Semele) and Alek Shrader (Jupiter); (c) Elise Bakketun

My review of Seattle Opera’s latest production is now live on (Happy 330th, George Frideric!)

It’s amusing to imagine the pitch Handel must have used to convince the presenters of Covent Garden’s oratorio concert series for the 1744 Lenten season to back his latest creation. Why not schedule his theatrical treatment of a myth that portrays the head of the pagan gods setting his human mistress up in a pleasure palace? After all, the moral is clearly stated at the end: “Nature to each allots his proper sphere”. Still, you can’t send your audience home on a such a grim choral note, so all the more reason to end things with a cheerful ode to the powers of Bacchus!

continue reading

Filed under: directors, Handel, review, Seattle Opera

2 Responses - Comments are closed.

  1. Annette Arnold-Boyd says:

    We absolutely loved it. It was spectacular.

  2. velma j. austin says:

    You have to understand Handel to appreciate this opera. I thought the voices were weak, but probably the writing of the music and the type of orchestra is how it is supposed to be, much lighter. I will add too that it was very cold at McCaw Hall and there are many older people who are not comfortable when the heat is too low. Staging was incredible.


%d bloggers like this: