• Copyright Vlaamse Opera / Annemie Augustijns
  • Copyright Vlaamse Opera / Annemie Augustijns
  • Copyright Vlaamse Opera / Annemie Augustijns
  • Copyright Vlaamse Opera / Annemie Augustijns



Gioachino Rossini (1792 - 1868)

From 12/12/2010 in Antwerp - from 08/01/2011 in Ghent

  • Alberto Zedda
  • Nigel Lowery
  • Myrtò Papatanasiu
  • Olga Senderskaya
  • Ann Hallenberg
  • Josef Wagner
  • Musical direction: Alberto Zedda
  • Director: Nigel Lowery
  • Semiramide: Myrtò Papatanasiu / Olga Senderskaya
  • Arsace: Ann Hallenberg
  • Assur: Josef Wagner
  • Idreno: Robert McPherson

In his ‘melodramma tragico’ Semiramide, Rossini, the grand master of opera buffa, created a fascinating operatic tragedy with an eastern atmosphere. This eastern tragedy presents us with the infamous Semiramis, builder of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, who becomes entangled in the power machinations of her state, which comprises four peoples.

We are transported to ancient Babylon, where Queen Semiramide finds herself in a moral dilemma caused by the murder of her husband King Nino and the loss of her son Ninia. For many years she has denied Prince Assur, the brain behind the murder plot, the promised marriage and with it a place on the royal throne. Semiramide’s love for the young general Arsace impels her to undertake new action. She plans to announce her wedding at the inauguration of the new temple of Baal and so thwart Assur’s bid for the throne. However, the voice of Nino and the high priest Oronte defeat Semiramide’s plan; they reveal the rift between love, intrigue, politics and faith. In the end, Semiramide acknowledges that Arsace is her missing son Ninia, who has returned home seeking revenge. Despite insights and repentance, the tragedy of the Babylonian Oedipus takes its catastrophic turn in a melodramatic confrontation at the grave of the murdered Nino. Rossini wrote Semiramide in 1829 before moving to Paris. He was only 37 years old and it was his last great Italian opera. With musical sensitivity and sporadic exotic sounds, Rossini paints psychologically motivated coloraturas and ensembles. In Semiramide Rossini reaches the height of his creative operatic powers; none of his other opera scores are richer or more perfect.

Duration: 4 hours 15 minutes (break included).
Attention: the evening performance of this opera starts at 18.30h.

Courtesy of RAMSES architects.


Surtitles: Dutch.


Nigel Lowery, who delighted audiences last season with his production of Candide, now directs his favourite opera, Semiramide, and once again does so in his own style. The legendary Rossini expert and conductor Alberto Zedda is musical director, conducting a young international ensemble of singers led by Myrtò Papatanasiù as Semiramide and Ann Hallenberg as Arsace.



Making of Semiramide


Future opera productions