'Semele' Gives Baroque a New Look


Daring designs and stirring performances highlight the latest effort from Opera Omaha.

George Frideric Handel’s Semele opens Friday night at 7:30 p.m. inside the Orpheum Theater. The musical drama, directed by James Darrah and Conducted by Stephen Stubbs, features the striking visual style one would expect from Darrah’s creative team, the same team responsible for 2014’s production of Agrippina and 2015’s A Flowering Tree. The show comes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, revolving around Semele, the mother of Bacchus. Opera Omaha describes the show as an opera of unbridled lust, jealousy, and revenge. It’s also features some of Handel’s best orchestral and vocal writing, highlighting the best of the Baroque era. Countertenor Ray Chanez, who plays Athamas in the production spoke about the production’s unique musical style.