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The Glasshouse



English Concert: Handel's Serse

Handel’s Serse at St Martin-in-the-Fields

English Concert: Handel's Serse


Emily D’Angelo Serse
Lucy Crowe Romilda
Mary Bevan Atalanta
Neal Davies Ariodate
Daniela Mack Amastre
Paula Murrihy Arsamene
William Dazeley Elviro

Harry Bicket Director
The English Concert

‘The best Serse you’ll ever hear’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (Arts Desk)

Serse has been revived many times, but I struggle to recall a performance as musically spectacular as this one’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (The Times)

Following their standout performance of Semele at Sage in 2019, the superb period instrument ensemble The English Concert and Harry Bicket return with an all-star cast for Handel’s rarely heard opera Serse.  A spectacular opera of love and power in ancient Persia, it opens with his most famous aria—“Ombra mai fu,” a fervent song of thanks to a shade-giving tree (also known as ‘Largo from Xerxes’) —and takes listeners on a vocal rollercoaster ride where comedy and tragedy intersect, and the music is always glorious. 

Serse rules a vast empire, but the human heart is more difficult to command, and sometimes the beauty of a plane tree is the only constant in a dangerous world. Created to astonish London audiences in 1728, Serse is a drama of love, war and civil engineering, and tonight it’s brought sparkling back to life by a team of the world’s leading Handel interpreters – directed by Harry Bicket and starring the “barnstorming” (The Daily Telegraph) Emily D’Angelo as the lovestruck king.


ℹ️ Useful Information

? Download your FREE concert programme here

? Download the text and translation for Serse

Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult

7pm: Act One
8.05pm: Interval 1 (20 mins)
8.25pm: Act Two: 20:25
9.25pm: Interval 2 (15 mins)
9.40pm: Act Three
10.20pm: Finish
Timings are subject to change

Concessions are available for:

  • North East First Timers
  • 18-30s
  • 17 & Under and Unemployed (in receipt of benefit)
  • Groups

Find out more about concessions, booking and travel here.

What to expect when you visit us >>

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The English Concert

The English Concert is an outstanding orchestra: exceptional, in the world-renowned quality, ambition and variety of its live and recorded output; unique, in the zeal of its players for working and performing together; unwavering, in its desire to connect with its audience throughout the world.

Under the artistic direction of Harry Bicket and principal guest Kristian Bezuidenhout, The English Concert has earned a reputation for combining urgency, passion and fire with precision, delicacy and beauty.

The artistic partners the orchestra collaborates with reflect and enhance its pursuit for new ways to bring music to life. Joyce DiDonato, Dame Sarah Connolly, Iestyn Davies, Alison Balsom, Trevor Pinnock, Dominic Dromgoole, Tom Morris and many more have not only brought their ​extraordinary skills to individual projects but continue to help the ensemble to shape the way it performs.

One cornerstone of the orchestra’s annual cycle is its international Handel Opera tour. Blossoming from an ongoing relationship with Carnegie Hall, the itinerary now regularly takes in the Theater an der Wien, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, the Elbphilharmonie and Barbican Hall, and the roster of great halls continues to grow. Meanwhile, the orchestra’s regular London series allows it to explore a radically different path, presenting programmes to its home audience that challenge and inspire. The English Concert is associate orchestra at Garsington Opera.