As Jupiter and Apollo in Handel’s Semele, international sought-after tenor Jeremy Ovenden is to make his first appearance at the International Handel Festival Göttingen. His debut on 19 May (with further performances on 20, 23, 27 and 28 May) coincides with the first ever stage oratorio in the festival’s history.
With Semele, George Frideric Handel transformed an ancient material into a musical drama - but he did not write an opera. Rather, he noted on the score: “After the manner of an oratorio" and wanted to escape the conventions of opera. Instead of a virtuoso show replete with a confusing plot a new level of clarity was to be introduced. Fewer figures on stage, but all the more complex character sketches. He achieved this brilliantly in his Semele – in particular with respect to the main characters Semele, Juno and Jupiter, who are among the most challenging roles Handel ever created. Jeremy Ovenden will lend both Jupiter and Apollo his elegant and confidently shaped tenor, who impresses especially in his Handel interpretations with idiomatic shaping and outstanding coloratura fluency.
Marie Lys, Semele
Jeremy Ovenden, Jupiter | Apollo
Vivica Genaux, Ino | Juno
Rafał Tomkiewicz, Athamas
Riccardo Novaro, Cadmus | Somnus | High Priest
Marilena Striftombola, Iris
George Petrou, Director and conductor
Paris Mexis, Stage and costume designer
Stella Kaltsou, Lighting designer
Kammerchor Athen (Chrous Master: Agathangelos Georgakatos)
19 | 20 | 23 | 27 | 28 May 2023
Göttingen: Deutsches Theater Göttingen
Georg Friedrich Händel: Semele