Semele opens tomorrow! Since this show is new to Seattle Opera and to many in our audience, here’s an overview of the plot with great photos taken by Elise Bakketun and Avi Loud at the final rehearsals of this new production. Director Tomer Zvulun, Costume Designer Vita Tzykun, Set Designer Erhard Rom, and Lighting Designer Robert Wierzel have invented a wondrous world of modern myth for Handel’s breathtakingly beautiful, sexy, tragic, funny opera.
King Cadmus (John Del Carlo) prepares to celebrate his daughter Semele’s wedding. The auspicious flames indicate that Juno, goddess of marriage, approves of the match...
But Semele (Brenda Rae) is unhappy about being forced into marriage.
Semele is secretly having an affair with Jupiter (Alek Shrader), king of the gods, Juno’s husband.
Semele’s abandoned fiancé, Athamas (Randall Scotting), finds consolation in the love of Semele’s sister Ino (Deborah Nansteel)...
...when Jupiter whisks Semele off to a splendid castle high atop a mountain.
When Iris (Amanda Forsythe) reports to Juno (Stephanie Blythe) on Jupiter’s adultery, Juno plots revenge.
Jupiter shows Semele how to live it up like one of the immortals, but Semele feels she doesn’t quite fit in.
“How engaging, how endearing is a lover’s pain and care.” Semele (Mary Feminear) senses the fragility of her relationship with Jupiter (Theo Lebow).
Jupiter has Semele’s sister Ino brought up from earth to keep Semele company.
Juno and Iris want to make a deal with Somnus (John Del Carlo), god of sleep...
Somnus helps them destroy Semele when Juno promises him the favors of the lovely Pasithea (Tory Peil).
Semele (Brenda Rae) falls in love with her own image in a magic mirror Juno has given her.
Disguised as Ino, Juno (Stephanie Blythe) suggests Semele manipulate Jupiter into making her immortal.
“No, no, I’ll take no less than all in full excess!” Semele demands that Jupiter (Alek Shrader) show himself to her in all his divine glory...
...but being mortal, Semele is unable to gaze upon Jupiter’s full godhood and survive.
"Above measure is the pleasure which my revenge supplies!" Juno (Deborah Nansteel) exults in Semele’s demise.
From Semele’s ashes Bacchus, her child by Jupiter, rises up to bless the world with the joys of wine!