Semele Insights Event


Want to learn more about Handel’s Semele?

Join us for a very special Insights event on Tuesday 18 August at the Opera Centre in Parnell. Art historian David Maskill will explore the story of Semele through depictions of the myth in art from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century.

The myth, according to David, explores some of the most extreme human emotions and offered Handel a vehicle for writing music to match. He says: ‘Semele’s seduction by Jupiter and his wife Juno’s revenge led to one of the greatest coups de théâtre—the immolation of Semele as she witnesses, at her own request and spurred on by the vengeful Juno, her lover Jupiter in divine form.’

Joining David is a globally recognised expert in the performance of Baroque music and Conductor of Semele, Peter Walls. Peter will delve further into the music with one of the principal singers performing an excerpt from the work. You’ll also hear from the director of our site-specific production, Thomas de Mallet Burgess.

Your ticket includes entry to the event, drinks and nibbles. If you love the arts and antiquity, don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn more about the piece ahead of attending a performance.



Tuesday 18 August, 2020


6.00 pm arrival, 6.30 pm – 7.30 pm, presentation.


The Opera Centre, 5/69 St George’s Bay Road, Parnell, Auckland.


$55 for New Zealand Opera benefactors and $65 for non-benefactors.


“I love and am lov’d, yet more I desire;
Ah, how foolish a thing is fruition!
As one passion cools, some other takes fire,
And I’m still in a longing condition.
Whate’er I possess
Soon seems an excess.
For something untry’d I petition;
Tho’ daily I prove the pleasures of love,
I die for the joys of ambition.”
Semele,  Act 3, Scene 2.

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