Handel: Serse (Xerxes), HWV 40

SKU: BA4076-90

In stock and typically ships within 1 business day. Expected to ship in about a week.
Format Descriptions

  • Composer: George Frideric Handel
  • Editor: Terence Best
  • Instrumentation: Opera
  • Work: Serse (Xerxes), HWV 40
  • Work Languages: German, Italian
  • ISMN: 9790006526987
  • Size: 7.5 x 10.6 inches
  • Pages: 231
  • Urtext / Critical Edition


Handel started writing "Serse" on 26 December 1737 and completed the third act on 6 February 1738. The première took place on 15 April of the same year at the King's Theatre in the Haymarket. Four performances followed, after which the work was not heard again until 1924.

The opera focuses on the Persian king Serse , who, rather than serving as a military commander or statesman, appears at the centre of a highly complex love story. Handel provided an admixture of buffo elements (the antics of the servant Elviro , the stupidity of the soldier Ariodate ) to the standard ingredients of opera seria, such as the broadly declaimed woes of Serse, Romilda, Arsamene, and Amastre .

This interweaving of seemingly incompatible stylistic resources arose in Naples and can already be found in the 17th century librettos that served as the principal sources of Handel's Serse.

Though unsuccessful at the time, today "Serse" is prized precisely for its comic undertones and is regularly seen on stage.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Quickly Will You Ship?

Most items are in stock and ship immediately. However, please look below the "Add to Cart" button for more specific information.

How Much is Shipping?

Our standard shipping is $4.99 and shipped by USPS First Class Mail. We also offer a 2-day option for $13.99 with FedEx/UPS.