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Opera Talk & Screening: Semele @ Kafnu

Opera Screening:
SEMELE, HWV 58 by Georg Friederich Händel
Guest speaker: Tran Nhu Vinh Lac

In the project: From Alpha to Opera – introducing famous operas with Vietnamese and English subtitles.

Talk and Official screening: 14:00 – 19:00 – Saturday, 07 March 2020
KAFNU Ho Chi Minh City, Co-working Space
92A Nguyen Huu Canh, Ward 22, Binh Thanh Dist., HCMC
(Near Saigon Pearl residence complex)

14:00 - 16:00: Pre-screening discussion
16:45: Screening


SUGGESTED DONATION (at the entrance)
100,000 VND
(We are very grateful for the venue sponsor and it is encouraged that audience purchase consumptions on-site)

ALL proceeds from donation will be used to cover translation fees, subtitles editing and preparation of relevant materials for the programme.

***Please be advised that this particular production contains certain scenes; which audience members under 16 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian for the duration of this screening.
For the Lent season of 1744, Georg Friedrich Händel announced that he would stage an oratorio in London – and presented what is basically an opera: Semele is about erotic upheaval between gods and mankind. Princess Semele has a liaison with the god Jupiter and becomes so megalomaniacal as a result that she desires to be immortal like him. Jupiter’s jealous and deeply aggrieved wife Juno engineers an intrigue that eventually brings about Semele’s demise.

Despite the expressive arias and splendid choruses typical of oratorios, Händel’s contemporaries initially turned up their noses at Semele’s juicily erotic and certainly comical subject matter, which was considered entirely inappropriate for an oratorio. However, this opinion soon changed. Today, Semele is one of Händel’s most popular works worldwide. While his librettist William Congreve intended to lampoon the inordinate influence of royal mistresses during the Restoration period, director Robert Carsen transports the court life of Händel’s day to court of our own time, tracing an arc to the very recent British past with inventiveness, imagination and subtle humour.

Sensuous, complex and psychologically sophisticated, Semele is one of Händel’s finest female figures – a classic role for Cecilia Bartoli – in a drama of ambition, vanity and seduction. With renowned Händel specialist William Christie’s musical direction, the machinations of both gods and mortals are vividly brought to life.


Saturday 7 March

2:00pm - 7:00pm

Kafnu | 92A Nguyen Huu Canh, 22 Ward, Binh Thanh District