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The Sunday Opera: Rossini's Last Italian Opera, "Semiramide" by OperaDelaware

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Ancient Babylon is the setting for this week’s Sunday Opera from OperaDelaware (12/2 3:00 p.m.) with Gioachiono Rossini’s last Italian opera, “Semiramide” featuring a libretto by Gaetano Rossi based on Voltaire's tragedy “Semiramis,” which in turn was based on the legend of Semiramis of Assyria.  Nicknamed by some as “’Tancredi’ revisited,” the story deals with the power-struggle of Queen Semiramide who was one of the people responsible for the death of her predecessor.  

The opera contains all of those things beloved by Italian opera fans, deception, intrigue, poison, remorse, redemption, possible incest, and a little “sangue” thrown in for good measure.   You’ll hear Lindsay Ohse as Semiramide, Aleksandra Romano as her son Arsace, Daniel Mobbs and Timothy Augustin as Assur and Idreno, suitors of Semiramide and rivals for power, Harold Wilson as Oroe, the high priest of Baal, Young-Bok Kim as the Ghost of King Nino, and Orin Strunk as Mitrane.  Anthony Barrese conducts the OperaDelaware Orchestra and Chorus.  We’re going to change the mood and the composer after the opera when Michael Kownacky invites you to join him for a ballet based on Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations” which features a score of music by Edward Elgar arranged by John Longstaff.  Performing it will be the Northern Ballet Theatre Orchestra conducted by John Pryce-Jones.

Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.