Xerxes (Serse)

More info on Xerxes

Composer:

Georg Handel

Librettist:

Nicola Minato, and Silvio Stampiglia

Premiere:

15 April 1738, London (King's Theatre, Haymark

Language:

English

Synopsis:

Xerxes Synopsis

Libretto:

Not entered yet.

Translation(s):

Not entered yet.

About the opera Xerxes

Serse (Xerxes, HWV 40) is an opera seria in three acts by George Frideric Handel. It was first performed in London on 15 April 1738. The Italian libretto was adapted by an unknown hand from that by Silvio Stampiglia for an earlier opera of the same name by Giovanni Bononcini in 1694. Stampiglia's libretto was itself based on one by Nicolò Minato that was set by Francesco Cavalli in 1654. The opera is set in Persia (modern day Iran) in 480 BC and is very loosely based upon Xerxes I of Persia, though there is little in either the libretto or music that is relevant to that setting. Xerxes, originally sung by a castrato, is now generally performed by a mezzo-soprano, contralto or countertenor. Although the English title Xerxes is widely used, the original Italian title was Serse.
The opening aria, "Ombra mai fu", sung by Xerxes to a tree (Platanus orientalis), is set to one of Handel's best-known melodies, and is often played in an orchestral arrangement, known as Handel's "largo" (despite being marked "larghetto" in the score).

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Roles in Xerxes

Xerxes Mezzo-Soprano
Arsamenes Soprano
Amastris Contralto
Romilda Soprano
Atalanta Soprano
Ariodatis Bass
Elviro Bass

More details roles



All scenes from Xerxes

Arias from Xerxes
Duets from Xerxes

Nr.Title scenePopularityOperaComposerActTypeVoicesLang.Roles
1Overture

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.01

Type: instrumentalVoice: n/aLanguage: English

Roles:
2May the Fates be kind

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.02-1

Type: recitativeVoice: tenorLanguage: English

Roles:
3Elviro Elviro

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.03-1

Type: recitativeVoice: B SLanguage: English

Roles: Elviro/Arsamenes
4Listen!

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.03-2

Type: recitativeVoice: S BLanguage: English

Roles: Arsamenes/Elviro
5O hark!

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.04-1

Type: recitativeVoice: S S MzLanguage: English

Roles: Romilda/Arsamenes/Xerxes
6Arsamenes! 1

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.04-2

Type: recitativeVoice: Mz SLanguage: English

Roles: Xerxes/Arsamenes
7Swift from the mountains

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.04-3

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Romilda
8Her singing has set my heart aflame

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.05-1

Type: recitativeVoice: Mz SLanguage: English

Roles: Xerxes/Arsamenes
9I will declare my passion

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.05-2

Type: ariaVoice: mezzoLanguage: English

Roles: Xerxes
10Go make your declaration

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.06

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Arsamenes
11Arsamenes! 2

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.07-1

Type: recitativeVoice: S S SLanguage: English

Roles: Romilda/Arsamenes/Atalanta
12Ah! do not weep

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.07-2

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Atalanta
13Quickly my lord

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.08-1

Type: recitativeVoice: B S Mz SLanguage: English

Roles: Elviro/Arsamenes/Xerxes/Romilda
14Better far by my departure

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.08-2

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Arsamenes
15Adorable Romilda

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.09-1

Type: recitativeVoice: mezzoLanguage: English

Roles: Xerxes
16Who has taught you disdain me

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.09-2

Type: ariaVoice: mezzoLanguage: English

Roles: Xerxes
17No stain can blemish

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.10

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Romilda
18No man's apparel can change

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.11

Type: ariaVoice: contraltoLanguage: English

Roles: Amastris
19Now the trumpet's shrill

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.12

Type: choirVoice: n/aLanguage: English

Roles:
20Glorious Xerxes

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.13-1

Type: recitativeVoice: cA Mz BLanguage: English

Roles: Amastris/Xerxes/Ariodatis
21I never seek the to question

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.13-2

Type: ariaVoice: bassLanguage: English

Roles: Ariodatis
22This splendid victory

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.14-1

Type: recitativeVoice: Mz cALanguage: English

Roles: Xerxes/Amastris
23When I see her

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.14-2

Type: ariaVoice: mezzoLanguage: English

Roles: Xerxes
24My Lord my Lord

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.15-2

Type: ariaVoice: bassLanguage: English

Roles: Elviro
25When grief and pain assail me

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.16

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Arsamenes
26Vengeance on him who spurns me

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.17-2

Type: ariaVoice: contraltoLanguage: English

Roles: Amastris
27I say you'll be persuated

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.18-1

Type: recitativeVoice: S SLanguage: English

Roles: Atalanta/Romilda
28If you'd seduce him

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.18-2

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Romilda
29By stealing secret kisses

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 1.19-2

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Atalanta
30May hope that springs eternal

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.01-1

Type: ariaVoice: contraltoLanguage: English

Roles: Amastris
31Ah! who'll buy these flowers

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.01-2

Type: ariaVoice: bassLanguage: English

Roles: Elviro
32And who would ever guess

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.02

Type: recitativeVoice: B cALanguage: English

Roles: Elviro/Amastris
33Now tis plain that the traitor defiles me

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.03

Type: ariaVoice: contraltoLanguage: English

Roles: Amastris
34My friend come here

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.05-1

Type: recitativeVoice: S BLanguage: English

Roles: Atalanta/Elviro
35Ah! viperous evil

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.05-2

Type: ariaVoice: bassLanguage: English

Roles: Elviro
36He must suffer bitter torment

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.06

Type: ariaVoice: mezzoLanguage: English

Roles: Xerxes
37May I know of you Madam

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.07

Type: recitativeVoice: Mz SLanguage: English

Roles: Xerxes/Atalanta
38He'll say that love for me

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.08

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Atalanta
39Poor deluded Romilda

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.09

Type: recitativeVoice: Mz SLanguage: English

Roles: Xerxes/Romilda
40If you'd worship the man

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.10

Type: ariaVoice: mezzoLanguage: English

Roles: Xerxes
41Evermore doomed to love him

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.11

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Romilda
42That ruthless tyrant jealousy racks me

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.12

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Romilda
43As you betray me

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.13

Type: ariaVoice: contraltoLanguage: English

Roles: Amastris
44He's out of his mind

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.14

Type: recitativeVoice: B SLanguage: English

Roles: Elviro/Arsamenes
45Once we would kiss and play

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.15

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Arsamenes
46In this wonderful creation

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.16

Type: Voice: Mz BLanguage: English

Roles: Xerxes/Ariodatis
47Must my days be spent

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.17

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Arsamenes
48Arsamenes where are you going

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.18

Type: recitativeVoice: Mz SLanguage: English

Roles: Xerxes/Arsamenes
49Yes I want her

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.19

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Arsamenes
50You advise me to forget him

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.20

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Atalanta
51The heart which love has captured

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.21

Type: ariaVoice: mezzoLanguage: English

Roles: Xerxes
52Ah! devil take me

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.22

Type: recitativeVoice: bassLanguage: English

Roles: Elviro
53If my dearest wish were granted

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.23

Type: ariaVoice: bassLanguage: English

Roles: Elviro
54A jealous friend has snared me

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.24

Type: duetVoice: Mz cALanguage: English

Roles: Xerxes/Amastris
55Ruthless fortune

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.25

Type: Voice: Mz cALanguage: English

Roles: Xerxes/Amastris
56The heart that beats contented

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.26

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Romilda
57Say will you have me

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.27

Type: recitativeVoice: Mz S cALanguage: English

Roles: Xerxes/Romilda/Amastris
58The love cross' d by fortune

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 2.28

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Romilda
59Sinfonia 3

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 3.01

Type: instrumentalVoice: n/aLanguage: English

Roles:
60All excuses are worthless

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 3.02

Type: recitativeVoice: S S B SLanguage: English

Roles: Arsamenes/Romilda/Elviro/Atalanta
61No no though you detest me

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 3.03

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Atalanta
62Clasp your hand to my heart

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 3.04

Type: recitativeVoice: S B S MzLanguage: English

Roles: Romilda/Elviro/Arsamenes/Xerxes
63I go in certain hope

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 3.05

Type: ariaVoice: mezzoLanguage: English

Roles: Xerxes
64I will obey my king

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 3.06

Type: recitativeVoice: S SLanguage: English

Roles: Arsamenes/Romilda
65Ah! love tyrannic love

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 3.07

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Arsamenes
66As we previously told you

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 3.08

Type: recitativeVoice: Mz BLanguage: English

Roles: Xerxes/Ariodatis
67Who'd have expected such an achievement

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 3.09

Type: ariaVoice: bassLanguage: English

Roles: Ariodatis
68I shall fear him no longer

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 3.10

Type: recitativeVoice: S Mz cALanguage: English

Roles: Romilda/Xerxes/Amastris
69I am the cause of my ruin

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 3.11

Type: ariaVoice: contraltoLanguage: English

Roles: Amastris
70You insult a constant lover

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 3.12

Type: duetVoice: S SLanguage: English

Roles: Arsamenes/Romilda
71See there the bridegroom

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 3.13-2

Type: recitativeVoice: B S SLanguage: English

Roles: Ariodatis/Arsamenes/Romilda
72I'll delay it no longer

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 3.14

Type: recitativeVoice: Mz BLanguage: English

Roles: Xerxes/Ariodatis
73Rise ye furies from baleful abysses

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 3.15

Type: ariaVoice: mezzoLanguage: English

Roles: Xerxes
74Criminals you have betrayed me

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 3.16

Type: recitativeVoice: Mz B S S cA BLanguage: English

Roles: Xerxes/Ariodatis/Arsamenes/Romilda/Amastris/Elviro
75Sweetest and best of lovers

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 3.17

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Romilda
76So love bestows its blessing

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct: 3.18

Type: Voice: S Mz cT Br BLanguage: English

Roles:
77Ombra mai fu

Opera: Xerxes (Serse)Composer: HandelAct:

Type: ariaVoice: countertenor or mezzoLanguage: English

Roles: