Opera Philadelphia



Company Premiere
Music by George Frideric Handel
Libretto derived from a drama by English playwright William Congreve
Performed in English with English supertitles
Part of Festival O19

Semele is engaged to a prince, but she’s really in love with the king of the gods, Jupiter. This forbidden passion between mortal and immortal brings them endless pleasure and endless love until his wife, the goddess Juno, plots a fiery finish to their hot affair. 

Handel’s glorious music and story of unbridled love, jealousy, and revenge get an energetic makeover in this new co-production from directorJames Darrah (Breaking the Waves) and a stellar cast led by soprano Amanda Forsythe as Semele, mezzo Daniela Mack (Carmen) as Juno and Ino, and tenor Alek Shrader as Jupiter.  

This production includes brief partial nudity. 

Watch Play

Semele video

MapPerelman Theater

Dates are Sept. 2019.

Thu, Sep 19 7:00 p.m.
Sat, Sep 21 2:00 p.m.
Tue, Sep 24 7:00 p.m.
Thu, Sep 26 7:00 p.m.
Sat, Sep 28 2:00 p.m.

The running time is approximately 3 hours including one 20-minute intermission.

Co-production of Opera Philadelphia and Opera Omaha

Aurora Productions in the Perelman Theater are underwritten, in part, by the Wyncote Foundation at the recommendation of Frederick R. Haas.

Cast & Creative Team

Gary Thor Wedow
Gary Thor WedowConductor
James Darrah
James DarrahDirector
Amanda Forsythe
Amanda Forsythe *as Semele
Alek Shrader
Alek Shraderas Jupiter
Daniela Mack
Daniela Mackas Juno/ Ino
Tim Mead
Tim Meadas Athamas
Alex Rosen
Alex Rosen *as Cadmus/Somnus
Sarah Shafer
Sarah ShaferIris
Lindsey Matheis
Lindsey Matheisas Principal Dancer
  • Elizabeth Braden Chorus Master
  • Gustavo Ramirez Sansano * Choreographer
  • Cameron Mock and Emily MacDonald * Scenic and Lighting Design
  • Sarah Schuessler * Costume Design
  • Adam Larsen Projection Design
  • Gregory Boyle Assistant Director
  • Brandon Ehrenreich Stage Manager
  • Tracy Hofman Assistant Stage Manager
  • Kara Zotigh * Assistant Stage Manager
  • *Opera Philadelphia debut
George Frideric Handel

The Composer

George Frideric Handel

Born in the German town of Halle in 1685, George Frideric Handel studied briefly at the University of Halle before moving to Hamburg in 1703, where he served as a violinist in the opera orchestra and subsequently as harpsichordist and composer. He was successful in developing a new form, the English oratorio, which combined the musical felicities of the Italian operatic style with an increased role for the chorus, relative economy of production, and the satisfaction of an English and religious text (elements that appealed to English Protestant sensibilities). In London he won the greatest esteem and exercised an influence that tended to overshadow the achievements of his contemporaries and immediate successors. Read more.

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