|Newburgh Hamilton after a libretto by William Congreve for John Eccles|
|10 February 1744, London (Covent Garden)|
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Semele (HWV 58) is a 1743 opera (initially presented as an oratorio) in three acts by George Frideric Handel. It is based on the classical myth of Semele, mother of Dionysus.
In the early 1740s, oratorios at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, were George Frideric Handel's chief concert activity in London. Several of them â€” Israel in Egypt (written 1738), Messiah (1741) and Samson (1743), for instance â€” bore some semblance to Greek tragedy, and this led Handel to venture into the world of classical drama.
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