SHAK at the Berkeley Festival of Early Music: Handel's Serse

Saint Mark's Episcopal Church, 2300 Bancroft Way, Berkeley CA 94704

Handel's Serse is a tale of cleverness and bravery, as imagined in the ancient imperial court of King Xerxes. Schemes are hatched, letters go astray, servants and nobles collude in deception, and a mysterious visitor in disguise takes treacherous action -- all for the sake of justice and honor.

Like our beloved Alcina (Seattle 2014 and Boston 2015), SHAK's adaptation of Handel's opera is an hour-long spoken play interspersed with the best musical numbers from the original work, all acted and sung by our student cast aged 8 to 17.

SHAK students bring to life the glories of the Baroque age, with costume, dance, and fencing from the time, accompanied by an all-star period-instrument chamber orchestra. Stage direction by Carmen Mettler, vocal coaching by Nancy Zylstra, choreography & dance instruction by Jamia Hansen-Murray, duels and fencing instruction by Cecil Longino. Concept, script, and music direction by Shulamit Kleinerman, with Tekla Cunningham, violin; Joanna Blendulf, cello; and John Lenti, theorbo.