The streaming series «Souvenirs» concludes with Georg Friedrich Händel’s «Semele», a work that oscillates between opera and oratorio. Semele’s story is one of erotic entanglements between gods and men. This sensual, multifaceted, and psychologically complex daughter of a king is one of Cecilia Bartoli’s best-loved roles. Director Robert Carsen succeed in creating an imaginative and exuberant production, full of wit and satire. He delightfully links the libretto’s allusions to the courtly practice of the time of keeping a mistress with the British royal family of recent times. Cecilia Bartoli creates a Semele full of lust and sensuality, self-deprecating, and painfully touching to the very end. The many collaborations between the Orchestra «La Scintilla» and conductor William Christie (who conducts here from the harpsichord) have led to a tight bond of musical connection, which is on fabulous display here.
This recording, from the year 2007, will be available on demand and free of charge on the Opernhaus website from Friday, May 7 at 6:00pm through Sunday, May 9 at midnight.
Georg Friedrich Händel
Director: Robert Carsen
Conductor: William Christie
With: Cecilia Bartoli, Orchestra «La Scintilla»
Recorded at the Opernhaus Zürich 2007