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ACT ONE

No. 1 - Overture
Scene 1
(Cadmus, Athamas, Semele, Ino and Chorus of Priests. The scene is the temple of
Juno. Near the altar is a golden image of the goddess. The Priests are in their
solemnities, as after a sacrifice newly offered: flames arise from the altar and
the statue of Juno is seen to bow)
No. 2 - Accompagnato
PRIEST
Behold! Auspicious flashes rise,
Juno accepts our sacrifice;
The grateful odour swift ascends,
And see, the golden image bends!
No. 3 - Chorus
PRIESTS
Lucky omens bless our rites,
And sure success shall crown your loves;
Peaceful days and fruitful nights
Attend the pair that she approves.
No. 4 - Recitative, arioso and duet
CADMUS
Daughter, obey,
Hear and obey!
With kind consenting
Ease a parent's care;
Invent no new delay,
On this auspicious day.
ATHAMAS
Oh, hear a faithful lover's prayer!
On this auspicious day
Invent no new delay.
No. 5 - Accompagnato
SEMELE
(apart)
Ah me!
What refuge now is left me?
How various, how tormenting
Are my miseries!
O Jove, assist me!
Can Semele forego thy love,
And to a mortal's passion yield?
Thy vengeance will o'ertake such perfidy.
If I deny, my father's wrath I fear.
No. 6 - Air
O Jove! In pity teach me which to choose,

Her colour fading. See. It must have vent. No. with sighs her bosom panting! If from love those sighs arise. Or inward burning Will consume me. Love already his has lighted! One soft sigh has cur'd despair. 9 .Quartet . 10 . And has undone me! I cannot longer hide my passion. Yet seems to shun me! What would my sister? Speak! INO Thou hast undone me! No. And her eyes o'erflowing! INO O Semele! SEMELE On me she calls.Recitative INO Alas.Air The morning lark to mine accords his note. she blushing turns her eyes. Wailing alike his absence and return. And more than my past pains requited. or help me to refuse! Teach me which to choose. I cannot utter it! ATHAMAS On me fair Ino calls With mournful accent. haste.Recitative ATHAMAS See. haste … No. O Athamas. 11 . 8 . Or help me to refuse! No.Incline me to comply. Hymen. Nothing to my bliss is wanting. 7 .Air Hymen. she yields. thy torch prepare. And tunes to my distress his warbling throat. The morning lark … No. Each setting and each rising sun I mourn.

ATHAMAS. 13 .Accompagnato CADMUS Again auspicious flashes rise. (The fire is again extinguished) Again the sickly flame decaying dies: Juno assents. O'erwhelm'd with sudden night the day expires. Juno accepts our sacrifice. (Thunder is heard at a distance and the fire is extinguished on the altar) No. in vain. 12 . or she thy Or I? Of whom dost untimely grieve.Chorus PRIESTS Avert these omens. Ill-boding thunder on the right hand rolls. rites profane? woes relieve. I fear.Recitative ATHAMAS Thy aid. No. 14 . Jove. ATHAMAS Can I thy woes relieve? SEMELE Can I assuage thy pain? CADMUS. but angry Jove denies. thy Semele adores! (A loud clap of thunder.CADMUS Why dost thou thus And all our solemn Can he. in vain. and thee alone. pronubial Juno. thou complain? INO Of all! But all. I fear. SEMELE Of whom dost thou complain? INO Of all! but all. (Flames are rekindled on the altar) No. And Jove himself descends in show'rs To quench our late propitious fires. Athamas implores! SEMELE (apart) Thee. the altar sinks) . all ye pow'rs! Some god averse our holy rites controls.

hopeless lover. In pity of my sad despair. from near possession torn.Chorus PRIESTS Cease. cease your vows. No. 'tis impious to proceed. turn thy eyes. Whence could proceed such tenderness? Whence such compassion? Insensible. 19 .. Your tuneful voice… No. In flowing tears and aching sighs. Who could the hidden cause explore.Recitative ATHAMAS She weeps! The gentle maid. ingrate.No.Recitative INO Too well I see. Ah no. I cannot blame thee! For by effects. 16 . Thy woes too like her own. 20 . And with sweet melody compel Attention from the flying fair. And see a maid bemoan.Air Your tuneful voice my tale would tell.. what hast thou yet to bear? From love. Weeps to behold my misery! So Semele would melt To see another mourn. Thou wilt not understand me. 17 . in tender pity. hopeless lover. . and fly this holy place with speed! This dreadful conflict is of dire presage. No. 15 .Air INO Turn. from hope. and fly from Jove's impending rage! (Exeunt) Scene 2 (Athamas and Ino) No. And oh. unknown before. Begone. Begone. Turn. 18 .Recitative ATHAMAS O Athamas. what torture hast thou borne. And plung'd at once in deep despair! No.

like stars shone forth his eyes.Or think that love could act so strange a part. or Semele. On purple wings descending. attended) No. Whose lambent glories in her tresses play'd. To plead for pity in a rival's heart? ATHAMAS Ah me. Look not on me! Guilt upbraiding. Sudden he snatch'd the trembling maid. Like gold his beak. invent Another. Cease to shun me. . You've undone me. what have I heard.Recitative CADMUS Ah. 22 . of parents most forlorn! Prepare. to prove The sharpest pangs that e'er were borne. wretched prince. Swifter than lightning downward tending. To me unknown. of mighty size. Shame invading. BOTH Love alone Has both undone! Scene 3 (To them Enter Cadmus. Scarce we the brazen gates had pass'd. Look not on me! ATHAMAS With my life I would atone Pains you've borne. An eagle stoop'd. When Semele around her head With azure flames was grac'd. O Athamas.Duet INO You've undone me. From Juno's fane we fled. While this we saw with dread surprise. His silver plumy breast with snow contending. doom'd to disastrous love! Ah me. She does her passion own! No.Accompagnato CADMUS Wing'd with our fears and pious haste. Prepare with me our common loss to mourn! ATHAMAS Can fate. yet another punishment? No. 23 . 21 .

and me declare the doom! No. endless love Semele enjoys above! .Recitative ATHAMAS Oh prodigy. To her arms his bolts resigning. PRIESTS. Speak. 24 . Diffusing ever as he less'ning flew Celestial odour and ambrosial dew. Songs of mirth and triumph sing! Hail Cadmus.Air and Chorus SEMELE Endless pleasure. see. hail! Jove salutes the Theban king! Cease your mourning. Jove's Priests and holy Augurs come. AUGURS Endless pleasure. of fortunate event! Scene 4 (Enter to them Chorus of Priests and Augurs) CADMUS See.Chorus PRIESTS. hail! No. 25 . 26 . to me of dire portent! INO To me I hope. No. Useless now his thunder lies. Joys returning. Semele enjoys above! On her bosom Jove reclining. speak of Semele. endless love. And his lightning to her eyes.And soaring from our sight convey'd. AUGURS Hail Cadmus.