HANDEL'S SECULAR ORATORIO
(The first of a Series of Four B.B.C. Concerts.) Relayed from the Birmingham and Midland Institute
RELAYED to DAVENTRY
Given by the BIRMINGHAM STATION REPERTORY CHORUS AND ORCHESTRA with the following Cast :
Conductor : JOSEPH LEWIS
ACT I. : Semele, the daughter of Cadmus, King of Thebes, is betrothed to Athamas, but is loved by Jupiter, whose love she returns. Semele appeals for help to Jupiter, who descends in the form of an eagle and carries her away.
ACT II. : Juno (known also as Satumia), the immortal wife of Jupiter, and Iris, the swift-footed messenger of the Gods, plan revenge. Juno causes Ino, Semele's sister, to be brought to her.
ACT III. : Juno and Iris visit Somnus, the God of Sleep, and gain his assistance. Juno appears before Semete in the guise of her sister Ino, and urges her to demand from Jupiter that he shall come to her as the God himself, and not in mortal form. Jupiter reluctantly consents, and Semele is consumed by fire.
In ACT I., the characters, in order of their singing, are :
A PRIEST (Bass)
CADMUS, the King of Thebes, Semele's father (Bass), and A CHORUS of PRIESTS and AUGURS.
ACT II. opens with an instrumental PRELUDE. The new characters are :
Juno (Contralto), whose recitative ' Awake, Saturnia,' opens the Act.
Iris, a messenger of the Gods (Soprano). JUPITER (Tenor) and INO (Contralto).
The Chorus now represents first LOVES and ZEPHYRS, and later NYMPHS and SWAINS.
In ACT III. (which has a short, slow Introduction) we have, in addition to these,
SOMNUS, God of Sleep (Bass), and APOLLO, as the God of Prophecy (Tenor), who appears only near the end of the work ' to relieve your care, and future happiness declare,' as the poet puts it.
The CHORUS in this Act represents, first, LOVES and ZEPHYRS, and later, the PRIESTS.