For Handel’s Serse, Christophe Rousset casted a female singer in the role of Xerxes, which was written for the soprano castrato Caffarelli. Paula Rasmussen is the star in this acclaimed production live from the Semperoper, Dresden, directed for stage by Michael Hampe. Superbly performed under the baton of Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques, this is an elegant and charming production with an outstanding cast.
This beautiful production of Handel’s Serse presents a tale of intrigue, deception and true love. Xerxes, King of the Persians (the magnificent Paula Rasmussen) and his brother Arsamenes (Ann Hallenberg) are in love with Romilda. Romilda, however, only has eyes for Arsamenes, as does her sister Atalanta. Add to the mix a spurned lover, a doting father and an idiotic servant (the hilarious Matteo Peirone), and one is confronted with tragedy, comedy and romance in equal measures.