Semele (Eccles)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the opera by Handel, see Semele (Handel). For the opera by Marais, see Sémélé.

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'.

Eccles's work should not be confused with the 1744 opera Semele by George Frideric Handel, also based upon Congreve's libretto. There is also an opera Sémélé, on the same theme, by Marin Marais.


Role Voice Premiere Cast, 22 April 1972
(conductor: )
First Recording, 2003
(conductor: Rooley)
Ino, sister of Semele soprano? Lee Tayler
Semele, daughter of Cadmus soprano April Cantelo Leslie Mangrum
Iris alto? Barbara Clements
Juno alto? Brenda Grau
Athamas alto? Kathleen Phipps
Cupid alto? Diane Coble
Apollo bass Scott MacLeod
Jupiter bass Mathew Toberson
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.


External links[edit]