Semele is an opera by John Eccles. The libretto is by William Congreve, drawing on the Greek myth of Semele. The opera was written in 1707, but was never performed in Eccles's lifetime; in fact, the work was not performed until 22 April 1972 when it was given at St John's, Smith Square in London. There was an earlier semi-staged performance given in The Holywell Music Room June 4-6 1964 by the Oxford University Opera Club and Wadham Music Society, conducted by John Byrt - also claiming to be the 'World Premiere'.
|Role||Voice||Premiere Cast, 22 April 1972
|First Recording, 2003
|Ino, sister of Semele||soprano?||Lee Tayler|
|Semele, daughter of Cadmus||soprano||April Cantelo||Leslie Mangrum|
|Cadmus, King of Thebes||bass||Kyle Ferrill|
|Somnus||bass||Bragi Thor Valsson|
The first full recording was produced in 2003 with Anthony Rooley, conducting the Florida State University Opera Orchestra, with Mangrum, Taylor, Kyle Ferrill, Christopher Swanson, Phipps, Roberson, Grau, and Barbara Clements. Regis.
- Price, Curtis (1992), 'Semele (i)' in The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, ed. Stanley Sadie (London) ISBN 0-333-73432-7
- Congreve's libretto adapted for G.F. Handel's Semele hosted by the University of Oregon
- "Dramatic Themes in John Eccles’s 1707 Setting of William Congreve’s Semele" by Robert Kelley (PDF)
- Synopsis and history of Semele from the Juilliard School