Semele in Scotland

A new Handel on a forgotten ‘baudy opera’
KENNETH WALTON [The Scotsman, 13 Feb 05]
WHY IS IT we feel so comfortable with the Handel who wrote such pot-boilers as the Hallelujah Chorus, Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, Music for the Royal Fireworks or Water Music, yet dread the thought of sitting through one of his many operas?
After all, some of the arias are well-enough known, and very likely rank among most easy-listeners’ CD collections – classics such as Ombra Mai Fu, better known as the Largo from Xerxes; or Where’er You Walk, immortalised in my school days by the popular Scots tenor Kenneth McKellar. But the operas from which they come remain risky box office.
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