The American premiere of Handel's opera "Semele" will be presented by the Lowell House Musical Society on March 26 and 27, President David M. Dawson '52 announced yesterday.
Written by the Restoration dramatist William Congreve and set by Handel in 1743, the work has since been converted into a secular oratorio, and excerpts from it are often heard. But the Musical Society's presentation of the operatic version will be the first such performance in this country.
Casting for the opera has been completed and the role of Semeie, a mortal who enraptures the Greek God Jupiter, will be sung by Anne English of the New England Conservatory of Music. Jupiter is to be played by Robert Peters of the Longy School of Music, and Margaret Roy, also of the Conservatory, will take the role of Juno, Jupiter's jealous wife.
The orchestra, made up of College and Radcliffe students, is under the direction of Malcolm H. Holmes '28, Band director and dean of the New England Conservatory. Hewitt Pantaleoni '52 and Irving Yoskowitz '53 are the chorus director and stage director, respectively.
Congreve drew from Greek mythology for his play which deals with Jupiter bringing his beloved Semele to Mt. Olympus.
Tickets for the opera will go on sale at all House dining halls and at Radcliffe.