News and Features

What you loved about Semele...

Read a selection of audience and critics' reactions to Semele...

The curtain has now gone up on our new production of Handel’s Semele.

With a plot full of lusty Gods and beautiful mortals, where intrigue and desire take centre-stage, Handel’s Semele combines the drama of Italian opera with the choral splendour and richness of English oratorio.

Read what the critics and audience had to say…


‘a show that’s confident, smart and endlessly entertaining’

– The Times

‘a fresh angle on the incendiary story’

– Evening Standard

‘Joélle Harvey’s five-star Semele, dazzlingly sung’

– The Telegraph

‘The choral singing, as one might expect, is sensational’

– The Guardian

‘Baroque piquancy and point is hit most successfully in the lively musical performance by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under conductor Václav Luks’

– Financial Times

‘a consistent and thoughtful interpretation of a gloriously eclectic piece’

– The Arts Desk

‘Undeniably punchy’

– The Stage


‘The opening night was fantastic. The conductor, orchestra and entire cast were outstanding.’

Facebook comment

‘This production is otherworldly in its beauty! The set, costumes and chorus are all perfectly balanced! Václav Luks and cast bring out the heartbreaking beauty in this score.’

Facebook comment

‘This was amazing! Excellent performances by all and Samuel Mariño the male soprano was just stunning.’

Facebook comment

‘Excellent and engaging production.’

Facebook comment

‘A wonderful new production of Semele! A must-see for all Handel lovers. Extraordinarily expressive singing and a fabulous production.’

Instagram comment

‘Exceptionally high standard across the board, from everyone involved.’

Audience comment

‘A feast for eye and ear.’

Audience comment

‘The set design was genius the simple pared-back staging in harmony with the delicate score by Handel.’

Audience comment

Semele is on stage until 26 August 2023 and due to audience demand we have added an extra performance on Monday 21 August
You can also enjoy the production on Glyndebourne Encore – our streaming service – later this year.

Image credits: Semele, Festival 2023. Photos by Richard Hubert Smith.

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