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Serse - Xerxes HWV 40

Opera in 3 acts

By George Frideric Handel

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3 soprano voice solos, mezzo-soprano voice solo, alto voice solo, 2 bass voice solos, orchestra (3 Soprano Voice Solos, mezzo- Soprano Voice Solo, alto voice solo, 2 bass voice solos, Orchestra)
Opera in 3 acts. Composed by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759). Edited by Terence Best. This edition: complete edition, urtext edition. Linen. Halle Handel Edition (HHA) Series II, Volume 39. Replaces BA 4010. Score. HWV 40. Baerenreiter Verlag #BA04076. Published by Baerenreiter Verlag (BA.BA04076).

Item Number: BA.BA04076

ISBN 9790006497836. 33.1 x 26 cm inches. Text: Anonymus (nach Nicolo Minato und Silvio Stampiglia).

Handel started writingSerseon 26 December 1737 and completed the third act on 6 February 1738. The premiere took place on 15 April of the same year at the King's Theatre in the Haymarket. Four performances followed, after which the work was not heard again until 1924.
The opera focuses on the Persian king Serse , who, rather than serving as a military commander or statesman, appears at the centre of a highly complex love story. Handel provided an admixture of buffo elements (the antics of the servant Elviro , the stupidity of the soldier Ariodate ) to the standard ingredients of opera seria , such as the broadly declaimed woes of Serse , Romilda , Arsamene , and Amastre .
This interweaving of seemingly incompatible stylistic resources arose in Naples and can already be found in the 17th century librettos that served as the principal sources of Handel's Serse .
Though unsuccessful at the time, todaySerseis prized precisely for its comic undertones and is regularly seen on stage.

Our new Urtext vocal score is based on the volume edited by Terence Best for theHalle Handel Edition(series II/volume 39).

  • Straightforward performance-oriented vocal score based on the Urtext of theHalle Handel Edition
  • Original Italian text with singing German translation
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