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Mid Wales Opera | Semele

Mid Wales Opera and The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama present a co-production, in association with the Academy of Ancient Music :-

Handel’s masterpiece of baroque opera


Music G. F. Handel, Libretto William Congreve after Ovid.

Conductor Nicholas Cleobury
Director Martin Constantine
Associate Director/Movement Jennifer Fletcher
Designer Grace Venning
Lighting Designer Samuel Smith

First performed in 1744 at Covent Garden, Handel’s Semele originally appeared as an Oratorio rather than an opera – and instantly caused a stir. The production used Congreve’s libretto based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses to bring to life the tragic tale of Semele’s ill-fated love for Jupiter the King of the Gods.

Featuring giant eagles, a dragon-guarded castle, thunder and lightning the Oratorio was a spectacular departure from Handel’s previous works and ran for only four nights. Revived only once in December 1744, Semele was never again performed in his lifetime and only brought back into the repertoire by professional companies in the twentieth century.

However, the work is undoubtedly one of the jewels of baroque opera. It contains the stunning tenor aria “Where’er you walk” and Semele’s joyous “Endless pleasure, endless love”.  As a farewell “swan song” our Artistic Director Nicholas Cleobury is teaming up with internationally renowned director Martin Constantine to stage this musically and dramatically breath-taking work.


Semele Ellen Williams / Lucy Mellors*
Jupiter Tom Smith / Rhodri Prys Jones*
Cadmus Emyr Wyn Jones / Andre Henriques*
Athamus Daniel Keating-Roberts
Juno Helen Stanley / Lesley Dolman*
Ino Dawn Burns / Christine Byrne*
Iris Beatrice Acland / Rachel Goode*
Somnus Blaise Malaba
Apollo Matthew Clark
Chorus Students from RWCMD

* February 9th and 11th only

Performances Spring 2017

Wednesday 8th February 7.15pm Richard Burton Theatre, RWCMD, Cardiff
Thursday 9th February 7.15pm Richard Burton Theatre, RWCMD, Cardiff

Friday 10th February 7.15pm

BSL interpreted 

Richard Burton Theatre, RWCMD, Cardiff
Saturday 11th February 2.15pm Richard Burton Theatre, RWCMD, Cardiff
Saturday 18th February 7.30pm Hafren, Newtown
Thursday 23rd February 7.15pm Ffwrnes, Llanelli
Monday 27th February 7pm Theatr Colwyn, Colwyn Bay
Saturday 4th March 7pm Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon


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Nicholas Cleobury | Artistic Director
Mid Wales Opera, Bryn Wgan, Caersws, Powys SY17 5QU
Telephone: 01686 441 027 | Email:

The Arts Council of Wales Arts Council England | Lottery Funded Welsh Government The National Lottery Powys County Council

Mid Wales Opera’s work in 2016/17 is supported by: Arts Council Wales, Powys County Council,  The Gwendoline and Margaret Davies Charity, Colwinston Charitable Trust, Control Techniques Ltd, John Lewis Chairman’s Fund, Millichope Foundation, The Oakdale Trust, The D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, The Idlewild Trust, Foyle Foundation, The Ashley Family Foundation and The Friends of Mid Wales Opera.

We are also extremely grateful for the support of our Patrons and Benefactors:  Mrs Sioned Bowen, Mrs A Brodbelt, Dr & Mrs JS Drury, Mr David John & Lady Hunt, Dr Hywel Parry-Smith, Sheppard Davies Asset Management Ltd, Professor Simon Smail CBE, Peter Stokes & Margaret Clennett, Mr Gareth Williams, and our anonymous donors.



Limited Company Number: 3001101 | Charity Number: 1043391