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Semele, by George Frideric Handel

Pittsburgh Opera / Pittsburgh / Music / Stage

Courted by Jupiter himself, Semele loses her head just a little. “Myself I shall adore,” she giggles, warbling to her mirror, “if I persist in gazing.” This, at a Carnegie Hall concert performance in 1985, was the point at which Kathleen Battle shot to the empyrean. For the soprano supernova who measures up to the demands, there’s no more glittering vehicle than this one, with arias so numerous and varied you’re apt to lose count. In Pittsburgh, the plum falls to Véronique Filloux, a French-American first-year resident artist with the company. Her second-year colleague Angel Romero, a tenor from Houston, is her Jupiter, who has a showstopper or two of his own, none finer than the stately “Where’re you walk.” —M.G.

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