Heidi Stober on Semele
Semele opens our 2017 season and brings a series of firsts for Garsington Opera including the first time we have featured Handel in our programme and role debuts for Heidi Stober and Robert Murray. We spoke to Heidi about singing Handel roles and what she is looking forward to about the production and coming to Garsington.
I am very much looking forward to my role debut as Semele. Handel is absolutely one of my favourite composers and it will be great to add another of his ladies to my repertoire (although I have actually played a Handel trouser role too - Tigrine in Radamisto). I recently had the opportunity to sing my first Alcina and I have a Cleopatra on the horizon, but Semele is particularly special for a couple of reasons. First, Myself I Shall Adore was one of the first arias I worked on when I started studying voice at university and Oh Sleep, why dost thou leave me was one of my first audition arias. Second, this will actually be my first Handel role in English.
I studied in London for a term during university and completely fell in love with the city. London would definitely be my next choice after Berlin where we currently live. I have been back to England over the years but not yet for work and I am beyond thrilled to make my UK debut. Singing Handel at Garsington Opera could not be any more perfect. The setting is beautiful and, after many seasons performing outdoors at Santa Fe Opera, I relish the opportunity to do the same surrounded by the exquisite English countryside.
Garsington will be the first opera company where my son and I perform together, a unique and memorable opportunity to share the stage. What can I say? Garsington is spoiling me with so many wonderful first-time experiences - Semele debut, UK debut and Henry's debut performance. I truly cannot wait!