As most classical Greek myths are, the story of Semele is full of love triangles, hurled lightning bolts, fatal ambition, and gods getting it on with their human counterparts. As the earthly mother of Dionysus — god of wine, madness, ecstasy, theater, and all things fun — the title character’s life is extra spicy, so it’s no wonder George Frideric Handel thought it ripe
material for his 1743 opera. Tonight the
Canadian Opera Company restores the
debauchery of the tale with East-meets-West flair. Chinese visual artist Zhang Huan directs, transforming the stage into
a brightly colored Ming Dynasty temple — but one that’s decked out in inflatable puppets. Jane Archibald plays the lead role, whose attempts to trade sexual favors for power get her, quite literally, fired.

March 4-10, 7:30 p.m., 2015

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