The St. Petersburg Opera Company is making its 2022 mainstage debut with three performances of George Frideric Handel’s Semele on Friday, Sunday and Tuesday, February 4, 6 and 8 at The Palladium Theater.
Artistic Director Mark Sforzini and Stage Director Karl W. Hesser put a 1930s spin on Handel’s baroque masterpiece with an elaborate art deco stage design and period costumes.
Accompanied with a comic libretto by Restoration poet William Congreve, derived from one of the most sexually charged Greco-Roman myths, Semele is a story of innocent love, unbridled lust, jealous rage, ambition and revenge, featuring some of Handel’s most inspiring orchestral music and virtuosic vocal writing.
Engaged to a prince, the dangerously ambitious Semele is nevertheless in love with Jupiter, the king of the gods. Jupiter spirits Semele away to an elaborate palace guarded by dragons, but his wife, Juno, schemes to end the affair. With the help of Somnus, the god of sleep, Juno manipulates Semele into demanding immortality and seeing Jupiter in his real form, a wish that, when reluctantly granted, causes her death.
The cast features Holly Flack (coloratura soprano), as Semele, Kyle Tomlin (tenor) as Jupiter, Sarah Couden (contralto) as Ino/Juno, Stephanie Jabre (soprano) as Iris, Ryan Belongie (countertenor) as Athamas, and Christopher Nazarian (bass) as Cadmus/Somnus.
Performances are on February 4 at 8 p.m., February 6 at 2 p.m. and February 8 at 7:30 p.m. This production is sponsored by Bud and Betty Shapiro and supported in part by the Florida Department of State Division of Arts and Culture, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and the City of St. Petersburg.
Founded in 2007 by Maestro Sforzini, the mission of the St. Petersburg Opera Company—a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation—is to enrich the cultural lives of the residents of and visitors to the Tampa Bay area by presenting fully staged professional opera productions of the highest quality, and to make opera accessible to present and future audiences through community outreach, educational initiatives and collaboration with other arts organizations.
Individual tickets for the St. Petersburg Opera Company’s Semele are $15-95 and are available for purchase online at www.stpeteopera.org or by phone at 727-823-2040. Special savings are available for groups of ten or more. You can purchase your group ticket package by calling 727-823-2040. Student Rush Tickets for $10 are available to all St. Petersburg Opera mainstage operas at The Palladium.
Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis 30 minutes before each performance at The Palladium’s box office. A valid student ID is required. Limit one ticket per person. Subject to availability. Cash transactions only.