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January 1970

Serenata in two parts (1726)
Music by Johann Adolf Hasse
Libretto by Francesco Ricciardi
Concert performance in Italian language


The husband of the gods cheats. And what does his jealous wife do? She tries to get rid of her lover. This is what happens today, and this is what happened then: Jupiter has fallen in love with the beautiful Semele and gives in to his desires.  Semele is just as happy to have an affair with the most prominent of all gods, which always shows itself to her in the form of a youth. The only one who has anything against this connection is Juno, Jupiter's wife. She devises a perfidious plan to save her marriage. In the form of her nurse Climene, she convinces Semele to ask Jupiter for proof that he is actually the one he claims to be. He should appear to her in his divine majesty, just as he shows himself to his wife. Semele likes this suggestion, and she demands it from Jupiter as proof of loyalty. He wants to deny her this request, but she does not let up. She also accepts the prospect of her own death, for no human being survives the sight of the divine. Deeply sad, Jupiter fulfills her wish and appears to her as a flaming figure of light. As expected she dies. Juno believes he can triumph over her husband, but Jupiter is more powerful than she suspects... Johann Adolph Hasse was one of the most famous composers of his time, he was friends with the leading librettist Pietro Metastasio as well as with the star castrato Farinelli, was married to the "nuova sirena" Faustina Bordoni and was highly esteemed by personalities such as Maria Theresa or Voltaire. The German began his career in Naples, however, because his northern German homeland offered him few prospects. In Naples he composed his first Serenata (a kind of chamber opera) in 1725. Only one year later, in La Semele, o sia La richiesta fatale, he again used this form of mini-music theatre, in two parts, with a reduced orchestration and only three parts. By rediscovering a copy of the score in Vienna in 2018, Hasse's Semele could be heard again at the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music. The edition was produced by Claudio Osele from the manuscript of the Archive of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna.

Program and cast


Claudio Osele
Arianna Vendittelli
Roberta Invernizzi
Sonia Prina
Le Musiche Nove


Theater an der Wien

About the Theater an der Wien

The New Opera House is not just any theatre, but the one that Emanuel Schikaneder, the all-round genius, actor, impresario with a flair for organization but above all librettist of The Magic Flute, had built in 1801 in Vienna in keeping with the spirit of Mozart.

To coincide with the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth the Theater an der Wien presents itself as a new opera house from January 2006. As a “season” opera house with productions all the year round the Theater an der Wien carves a new and independent niche in the realm of high-quality culture in Vienna. For twelve months of the year, with one premiere every month, opera will be performed under the “stagione”, or season, system: that means the cast remains unchanged from the first performance to the last one, which guarantees that the very highest international standards are maintained.

The theatre’s modern, accessible approach to music theatre as demonstrated by the works performed, the overall artistic concept Bespielung and the artistes is further underlined by the building itself, its architecture and the vibrancy of its location. The surroundings and materials, the intimate atmosphere and perfect acoustics in the historical theatre prepare the senses to experience beauty. The Theater an der Wien deliberately enters into a symbiotic relationship with its lively surroundings on the Naschmarkt street market and the young cultural scene centred in the Schleifmühl quarter.

How to get there

With public transport:

We can be reached by public transport: 

U1, U2 und U4 Station Karlsplatz, Exit Secession
Bus 59A Station Bärenmühldurchgang
Bus 57A Station Laimgrubengasse, pedestrians via Laimgrubengasse to Linke Wienzeile

Fleischmarkt 24, 1010 Wien

We can be reached by public transport:
U1, U4: Station Schwedenplatz
Tram Linie D (bei Ablenukung über Kai), 1, 2: Station Schwedenplatz
Bus 3A (on workdays)

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