The Week in Review: The opera - Semele

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The Independent Culture

Robert Carsen directs the ENO in a production of Handel's opera that charts the love affair between Jupiter and Semele. With

Rosemary Joshua and John Mark Ainsley.


"This is the kind of production Semele might have designed for herself. It's cool, it's chic, it's straight from the pages of Vogue magazine, circa Cecil Beaton's heyday," stated Edward Seckerson. "Carsen's staging is deftly pointed and Handel's music is a continuous feast. Go, and enjoy," gushed the Financial Times. "The Coliseum has done Handel, and Congreve's libretto, proud," pronounced The Times. "Fresh, funny but never in the least bit camp or vulgar," trumpeted the Daily Mail. But The Daily Telegraph had reservations: "This


Semele is a smart piece of window-dressing: it may pull crowds, but it won't tug hearts."

A kind of mythological High Society, Carsen's stylish production will entertain and enthrall.


Semele is at the Coliseum until 28 May. Call 0171-632 8300. It will be broadcast live simultaneously on BBC2 and Radio 3, 7pm, 15 May.