Myself I Shall Adore

Myself I Shall Adore" part of act III of Semele, 'musical drama' composed by Handel


“Myself I Shall Adore” is part of act III of Semele, the musical drama that was composed by G.F. Handel. Semele is the musical drama in three parts written by George Frederic Handel. The story originally comes from Ovid's Metamorphoses and concerns Semele, mother of Bacchus. Handel also did refer to the work or piece as The Story of Semele.



Watch the Performance Here>> Myself I Shall Adore



The work as said is classified as a musical drama, but it  fuse elements of opera, oratorio and classical drama, which anticipates the grand operas of the nineteenth century. The reason the work is not classified as an oratorio is because that term is used for works based on sacred or religious texts and Semele has a secular text. Also, Semele is neither an opera due to the large number of choruses (there are 10 choruses in Semele; whereas 2 or 3 would be typical of a Handel opera). These chorus are in oratorio anthem style. On the other side, unlike opera, several incidents rely for their impact on the audience's imagination rather than by direct portrayal, notably Semele's death and insinuations of her sexual relationship with Jupiter.

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Semele was first performed on 10 February 1744 at the Covent Garden Theatre, London, as part of a concert series held yearly during Lent. The audience naturally expected Bible-based subject matter. However, the amorous topic of Semele, which is a creation of the late Restoration Period, transparently drew on Greek myths, and so it displeased those attending for a different kind of uplift. Being in English, Semele also irritated the supporters or fans of true Italian opera, particularly as Handel would also not write for the rival Middlesex Opera Company. Winton Dean in his book Handel's Dramatic Oratorios wrote that in 1974, the public found Semele's tone sounded too close to that of the discredited Italian opera and set it down as an oratorio manqué; where people expected wholesome Lenten bread, they were given a glittering stone dug from the ruins of Greek mythology.

Semele felled into prolonged neglect until its performances was first stage in Cambridge, England, in 1925 and in London in 1954. These fueled an enthusiasm of the work that has not since lapsed.

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Semele was staged on different four occasions, these are in 1959, 1961, 1964 and 1975 by the Handel Opera Society under Charles Farncombe, and it entered the repertory of the Sadler's Wells Opera (now English National Opera) in 1970. The opera returned in 1982, after a 238-year hiatus, to Covent Garden (the Royal Opera House), conducted, as at Sadler's Wells, by Charles Mackerras.


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