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Topic: Xerxes (opera)

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  THE IRANIAN: Music, Handel's Xerxes, Cyrus Kadivar
In fact, Handel's Xerxes (Serse) was first performed at the King's Theatre, Haymarket, London, in 1738.
Furthermore, though the characters were supposed to be Ancient Persians, their behavior was distinctly British; indeed, as Sarah Lenton, the author of "Backstage at the Opera", observed, "the inhibitions and levels of embarrassment on stage made it quite clear that, for this show at least, 'Persian' and 'British' were synonymous".
Perhaps, the most impressive aspect of the opera for me was a faithful reproduction of a small-scale Persepolis in the background juxtaposed with actors strutting around in Versailles - like court uniforms and wigs, sitting in deck-chairs and waving umbrellas as bald gardeners trimmed the hedges in the palace grounds.
www.iranian.com /Arts/2000/March/Xerxes/index.html   (395 words)

  Xerxes I of Persia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Xerxes I The Great, son of Darius I The Great and Atossa, the daughter of Cyrus the Great, he was appointed successor to his father in preference to his eldest half-brother, who were born before Darius had become king.
This probably was the reason why Xerxes in 484 BC abolished the Kingdom of Babel and took away the golden statue of Bel (Marduk, Merodach), the hands of which the legitimate king of Babel had to seize on the first day of each year, and killed the priest who tried to hinder him.
But Xerxes was induced by the astute message of Themistocles (against the advice of Artemisia of Halicarnassus) to attack the Greek fleet under unfavourable conditions, instead of sending a part of his ships to the Peloponnesus and awaiting the dissolution of the Greek armament.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Xerxes_I   (760 words)

 Boosey & Hawkes Opera
The young king Xerxes is engaged to Amastris, but has fallen in love with Romilda, the daughter of Ariodate, a general.
When Xerxes meets Amastris in front of Ariodate’s house and does not recognize her because she is still wearing her captain’s uniform, he orders her to stand as a guard in front of Ariodate’s house.
Then Xerxes pretends to be a messenger of the king and announces the imminent arrival of the ‘royal bridegroom’ to Ariodate.
www.boosey.com /pages/opera/moreDetails.asp?musicID=26072   (234 words)

 Xerxes @ The Coliseum
Xerxes - originally a soprano castrato role - is sung by a mezzo-soprano (Sarah Connolly in splendid voice, and looking thoroughly in control of her kingdom).
Amastris, a Princess jilted by Xerxes and not at all happy about it, is played by a mezzo-soprano (Anna Burford) with such a deep timbre that she seems a lot butcher than her errant suitor.
Romilda may be the heroine of the opera (and she is charmingly sung by Rebecca Evans) but the focus of all eyes tends to be on Atalanta, her sister, who is determined to steal Arsamenes from under Romilda's nose and isn't too fussy about her methods.
www.musicomh.com /opera/xerxes.htm   (646 words)

 Opera~Opera. Plot Summaries. H.
Xerxes confronts Romilda with the letter, telling her it was written to Atalanta, but she still resists him and clings to Arsamenes, even if faithless, but when Xerxes has left, she gives vent to jealousy.
Xerxes advises Atalanta to forget Arsamenes, who does not love her, but she is unable to forget him.
Xerxes repeats his promise to Ariodates of marrying Romilda to an unspecified prince, and Ariodates believes he means Arsamenes.
www.opera-opera.com.au /ploth.htm   (7784 words)

 ND Publicity Office & Concert Series   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23)
The story of the opera is that of a selfish, spoiled, and willful young aristocrat, whose determination to win love on his own terms for himself affects his family and members of the court, until he is trapped by his own cunning and forced to yield to reason.
Xerxes, the king, is the older brother of Arsamenes.
Xerxes attempts to use his royal privilege to obtain for himself the love and respect which he is not willingly accorded by others.
www.nd.edu /~congoers/previousconcerts/010330.html   (1472 words)

 Serse   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23)
Xerxes is a pants role: that is, it is a male role played by a soprano.
Xerxes banishes Arsamene, who sends a note to Romilda through his servant Elviro, disguised as a flower vendor, pledging his eternal fidelity, but it is delivered instead to Atalanta, who shows it to her sister claiming that it was addressed to Atalanta.
Xerxes pursues Romilda, and tells her father Ariodate that Romilda must wed, by the king's command, a member of Xerxe's family, equal in blood to himself.
www.worldhistory.com /wiki/S/Serse.htm   (413 words)

 DVD Review - Xerxes   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23)
Based on an earlier Venetian opera of the same name, performed in 1645 and composed by Cavalli, it was first performed at the King’s Theatre, Haymarket, London, in 1738.
Xerxes is a daunting role and Murray meets its demands with aplomb, notably near the opera’s climax (’Rise ye furies’).
Anyway, to recap: the leader of one nation (Xerxes) and the heir(ess) apparent to another (Amastris) are both women as men, and the brother of the former (Arsamenes) is a man with the voice of a woman.
www.dvdreview.com /fullreviews/xerxes.shtml   (1484 words)

 Xerxes   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23)
Xerxes is already betrothed to a foreign princess, but he has fallen in love (into love) with his brother's girlfriend, Romilda, whose sister, Atalanta, is in turn in love with Xerxes's brother, Arsamene.
Stephen Wadsworth is an accomplished professional who avoids most of the common pitfalls of staging Baroque opera and who is capable of rising to the creation of inspired bits of business (witty parallelisms, for example: two singers on different parts of the stage doing exactly the same thing).
Xerxes is sung by a woman, Arsamene by a counter-tenor whose tessitura lies higher than the low-lying music of Xerxes's fiancée, who is disguised as a man. When Arsamene's comic manservant disguises himself as a flower-selling crone, he underlines the comedy of all the gender confusion.
www.bostonphoenix.com /alt1/archive/music/reviews/03-14-96/XERXES.html   (1558 words)

 Classics Today.com - Your Online Guide to Classical Music   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23)
The opera also contains a bunch of da capo (and non- da capo) arias, some of which are big-time showpieces, others are merely descriptive and indicative of the characters’ foilbles and passions.
At the opera's start, Wadsworth has the characters line up on stage and explain to the audience in one sentence who they are and what their relationship to love is — it's a clever introduction.
Xerxes’ brother, Arsamene, is the lover of Romilda, the daughter Xerxes’ servant, Ariodate, (and she loves him); Xerxes loves her too (and that's the problem).
www.classicstoday.com /Classics/ConcertReview_ASPFiles/ViewConcertReview.asp?Action=Editor&ID=397   (603 words)

 OperaWorld.com's Opera Insights: George Frideric Handel   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23)
A competing opera company, the Opera of the Nobility, had established itself in 1732, and had the advantage of presenting Farinelli, the greatest castrato of the age.
Handel's operas made their first return to the stage in Göttingen in 1920, with a production of Rodelinda that was soon followed by Ottone, Giulio Cesare, and Serse.
Productions of his operas today, while often subject to cuts, are at least likely to use original orchestrations and correctly-pitched voices, and they are likely to feature some of the brightest stars in the operatic universe.
www.operaworld.com /special/handel1.shtml   (1195 words)

 Free pictures, posters, jokes, music and video downloads of "Xerxes" by Georg Friedrich Handel
The three-act opera opens with Xerxes hearing the young Romilda singing on her terrace.
Amastre is determined to get what is owed to her and discovers that while Xerxes loves Romilda, the lady does not return his affections.
Xerxes tells Arsamene that he can marry the woman he chooses on the day Xerxes gets married himself and informs Romilda for good measure that Arsamene does not love her.
ring.mithec.com /eng/operaxerxes.html   (532 words)

 Metroactive Stage | Xerxes
George Frideric Handel's score for Xerxes is extravagantly beautiful and dynamic--so much so that the story about a fictionalized romantic fiasco in the life of Persia's historic king of the same name pales next to Handel's exalted artistry.
King Xerxes is obsessed with his brother's betrothed, and she wants nothing to do with him.
After two hours of Xerxes' unscrupulous attempts to steal Romilda's heart, he at last yields and is forgiven by his betrothed, Amastre, within the blink of an eye.
metroactive.com /papers/metro/09.19.96/opera-9638.html   (737 words)

 Xerxes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Xerxes (the Greek form of the Persian Khshayārsha) is the name of two Persian kings of the Achaemenid dynasty:
Xerxes, an Armenian king, killed about 212 BC by Antiochus III the Great.
XERXES, a character in the video game System Shock 2.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Xerxes   (116 words)

 Metroactive Stage | Xerxes
OPERAS ABOUT unkind tyrants are plentiful, but only in the Baroque theater are the perpetrators likely to get away without so much as a slap on the wrist.
Xerxes' multiple abuses of the law to steal Romilda's affections include ordering his brother's banishment and arrest, among other things.
The opera's most memorable character, however, is the bumbling but well-meaning servant and deliverer of messages, Elviro, who lubricates the opera's unfolding and lightens up its more severe climates.
www.metroactive.com /papers/metro/09.12.96/opera-9637.html   (820 words)

 ASU News & Information from the Office of Media Relations and Public Information
Lyric Opera Theatre chose to use the English translation and adaptation by Wadsworth, which has wowed audiences across the country from New York to Seattle; New York City Opera is slated to perform Wadsworth's translation and adaptation of Xerxes in Spring 2004.
Xerxes was one of the last operas that Handel wrote before turning to the English oratorio genre and was one of his rare forays into comedy.
In the 1700s, one of the main attractions to Handel's operas was the opportunity to hear the "castrati," male singers whose soprano voices has been surgically preserved from childhood.
www.asu.edu /news/arts/xerxes_021403.htm   (522 words)

 Amazon.ca: DVD: Handel, George Frideric: Xerxes   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23)
Xerxes is one of Handel's rare ventures into comedy, a parody of the amorous complexities, heroic posturing, and overwrought emotions of opera seria.
I was a bit apprehensive when I saw this opera billed as a comedy, but it turned out to have all of the dramatic intensity and depth of character portrayal of a "serious" opera.
This is truly a masterful opera, and I found myself thinking that Baroque opera, with all its elegance and its stylized acting and staging conventions, in a certain way occupies a higher artistic plane than the much more realistic and complex operas of romantic masters like Verdi and Puccini.
www.amazon.ca /exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004Y7IA   (1575 words)

 Learning Center | NYC Opera
Xerxes banishes Arsamene to be rid of his rival.
In the meantime Xerxes is relentless and even cruel in his pursuit of Romilda.
Amastre, the fiancée Xerxes has forsaken for Romilda, spends the opera disguised as a man. She comes to town to find Xerxes, from whom she has heard nothing.
www.nycopera.com /learning/resource/synopses/xerxes.aspx?detect=yes   (330 words)

 Online Review London
The magic of the opera is clear from the moment that the other-worldly atmosphere of its very first sounds pervades the auditorium.
The send-up of 19th-century opera as the rude mechanicals act out their celebratory play is a witty tour de force of its own, but the lyrical music of the lovers and the hauntingly beautiful music of Titania and Oberon, fairy King and Queen, are at the sensuous heart of the work.
In David McVicar's wonderful staging for The Royal Opera, the comedy and pathos, the twists of the plot and the strong characterizations all combine beautifully, while John Macfarlane's elegantly dark designs heighten the Enlightenment symbolism of a thoughtful and evocative interpretation.
www.onlinereviewlondon.com /reviews/seasons/Royalopera.html   (1139 words)

 Guardian | Xerxes
First performed in 1738, Handel's Xerxes is a bleak comedy about the nature of erotic manipulation and emotional control.
Xerxes himself is one of Handel's most disturbing creations: a man who believes that the emotions of others can be turned on and off at will and that he can despotically dictate their progress.
Xerxes, who has dumped his mistress Amastre in order to pursue Romilda, the fiancee of his brother Arsamene, gets his comeuppance but remains locked in self-delusion.
www.guardian.co.uk /print/0,3858,4808827-108884,00.html   (303 words)

 Handel, Xerxes, New York City Opera, soloists, New York State Theater, Lincoln Center, New York; March 30, 2004 (HS)   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23)
New York City Opera took a good run at Handel's Xerxes, achieving enough success to send the audience on the piece's opening night out into a chilly March 30 evening with smiles on their faces.
In the story, Xerxes, the king, wants to marry Romilda, a hot tomato and the daughter of one of his servants, but she doesn't want him.
The problem with Connelly was she didn't provide a consistent enough personality as Xerxes for all the action to revolve around.
www.musicweb-international.com /SandH/2004/Jan-Apr04/handel303.htm   (794 words)

 Metroactive Stage | Xerxes
OPERAS ABOUT unkind tyrants are plentiful, but only in the Baroque theater are the perpetrators likely to get away without so much as a slap on the wrist.
Xerxes' multiple abuses of the law to steal Romilda's affections include ordering his brother's banishment and arrest, among other things.
The opera's most memorable character, however, is the bumbling but well-meaning servant and deliverer of messages, Elviro, who lubricates the opera's unfolding and lightens up its more severe climates.
metroactive.com /papers/metro/09.12.96/opera-9637.html   (820 words)

 Xerxes I on Encyclopedia.com   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23)
After bringing (484 BC.) Egypt once more under Persian rule, Xerxes prepared for an invasion of Greece (see Persian Wars) by constructing a bridge of boats across the Hellespont and cutting a canal through the isthmus of Athos.
Xerxes Blancmange -- Innocent Emailer Ponders An Alias To Hide From Spam.
When Anne Sofie von Otter sings the part of Xerxes in a concert performance of Handel's opera this week, you'll believe she's a tyrant in love with a tree.
www.encyclopedia.com /html/x/xerxes1.asp   (414 words)

 Articles - Serse   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23)
The opera is set in Persia in 480 BC and is very loosely based upon Xerxes I of Persia, though there is little in either the libretto or music that is relevant to that setting.
The opening aria, "Ombra mai fu", a love song sung by Xerxes to a tree, is Handel's best-known melodic structure.
Xerxes pursues Romilda, and tells her father Ariodante that Romilda must wed, by the king's command, a member of Xerxes' family, equal in blood to himself.
www.lastring.com /articles/Serse   (377 words)

 PlaybillArts: Features: How to Handle...Handel
Like these two, Xerxes was based on a Venetian libretto from the previous century and so has an often larky tone and a more free-wheeling dramaturgy and musical style than the operas from the intervening years.
I wish opera directors had the good fortune to be really produced more often--that is, to work with producers who demand that they serve the piece they're directing, whatever the style of the production.
I've directed four Handel operas and done each in what I suppose you could say was a different style--and none in the style of Handel's own theater.
www.playbillarts.com /features/article/24.html   (1627 words)

 Opera online with free music and video downloads, posters and books about composers. The Ring of The Nibelung by ...
Opera Online is dedicated to the immortal masterpiece "The Ring of the Nibelung" by Richard Wagner who gave new life to the german myth of the Nibelungs.
Das Rheingold is the first of the four Ring operas, it sets the scene with the theft of the Rhine gold, first by Alberich and then Wotan on behalf of the giants on a train of greed that will inexorably lead to the demise of the gods.
Die Götterdämmerung is the fourth and final Ring opera.
ring.mithec.com   (602 words)

 Classical Music - February 1997
The English National Opera production of Xerxes, by Nicolas Hytner (of Miss Saigon fame), in Hytner's own preternaturally fluent Augustan English rendering of the original Italian, is a work of art in its own right.
It was a hit on video and a triumph in far-flung revivals, including one by the Lyric Opera of Chicago last year.
"It's upsetting, revolting, revelatory, as fresh as any opera on which the ink isn't yet dry." Set to disjointed dramatic fragments by that precocious, short-lived harbinger of expressionism Georg Büchner (1813-1837), and based on fact, Alban Berg's opera (1925) traces the mental and spiritual disintegration of a much-persecuted common soldier to the point of murder.
www.theatlantic.com /ae/97feb/97febcla.htm   (516 words)

 OperaBlog by Pittsburgh Opera: February 2006
Baroque opera, especially Handel's operas, presents any director with a very difficult task: to find dramatic truth that will be effective before an audience within the confines of a strict, and sometimes counter-intuitive, musical form.
Even though most of Xerxes deals with basic human relationships, Handel still made Xerxes a king and wrote the other characters to respond to Xerxes as if he were in a position of power.
Seattle Opera’s Speight Jenkins, true to his word, wore a Pittsburgh Steeler jersey, Bettis’s number 36 (provided by Pittsburgh Opera), to Seattle Opera’s board meeting and was photographed standing before the Opera’s trustees.
pittsburghopera.org /operablog/2006_02_01_archive.html   (1472 words)

 Lyric Opera Theatre performs one of Handel’s last Italian operas – Xerxes   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-23)
The LOT production of Xerxes is set in the 18th century, approximately at the same time as the work’s premiere in 1738,”; explains Dreyfoos.
Xerxes was one of the last operas that Handel wrote before turning to the English oratorio genre.
“From this ‘psychological’ aspect, these 18th century operas really allow the singers to explore the multi-faceted aspect of their characters – even more so than many of the standard operas from the 19th and 20th centuries.
herberger.asu.edu /news/newsreleases/2003/som_xerxes_021403.html   (651 words)

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