The famous queen of Babylon Semiramide will tell her tale in a screening of the opera by Gioachino Rossini tomorrow in Limassol.
This rare performance from the Metropolitan Opera (MET) showcases dazzling vocal ranges for the first time in 25 years on the MET stage. In the two-act opera, Semiramide, the Queen of Babylon, has killed her husband King Nino with the help of Assur (a descendant of a prince). Now there is a power struggle to see who will be the next king. To Assur’s surprise, Semiramide chooses Arsace (commander of the Assyrian army) to be her husband and therefore king. This is a mistake that Semiramide will regret. When Nino’s son Assur finds out that Arsace has taken his father’s throne he murders both Semiramide and Arsace and takes his official place as king.
Semiramide is the conclusion of the Italian phase of Gioachino Rossini’s monumental yet unusual career. He had already produced such immortal comedies as Il Barbiere di Siviglia and L’Italiana in Algeria but in the early 19th century he was celebrated for his tragedies – none more so than Semiramide. For decades after its premiere the opera swept through the music capitals of Europe and beyond, mesmerising audiences with its beautiful use of melody, exhilarating drama and astonishing vocal displays.
Screening of the opera from the MET live series. March 10. Rialto Theatre, Limassol. 7.55pm. €14/18. Tel: 77-777745