Ithaca College Theatre Presents Classic Story of Fatal Attraction

By David Maley, February 12, 2016

Ithaca College Theatre Presents Classic Story of Fatal Attraction

ITHACA, NY—The Ithaca College School of Music and Department of Theatre Arts will team up to present Handel’s opera “Semele,” a classic story of jealousy and fatal attraction from Roman mythology. Performances take place in Hoerner Theatre in Dillingham Center February 24 and 26 and March 1, 3 and 5 at 8 p.m., as well as at 2 p.m. on Feb. 28.

Tickets can be purchased at the Ithaca College box office in Dillingham Center or online at The box office is open Monday–Thursday, noon–5 p.m.; and Friday, noon–4 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased over the phone at (607) 274-3224. Tickets range from $8 to $16.

At the heart of “Semele” is the forbidden love between the mortal Semele and the king of the gods, Jupiter. Passion fuels and consumes this love between them, but hope springs from its ashes. 

Directed by R.B. Schlather, this production updates the classic opera by focusing on the poetic and psychological aspects of the story. Schlather intends to “bring the raucous, energetic, fantastic aspects of the story into focus by stripping everything away and focusing in on the performers, their bodies and what they can do with music and voice and the text.”

A 2008 alumnus and current faculty member at Ithaca College, Schlather is based in New York City and has directed operas nationally and internationally. The “New York Times” described him as having “a gift for drawing out vivid performances.” WXQR radio named Schlather and collaborator Geoffrey McDonald (conductor of “Semele”) on a 2015 year-end list of 10 pivotal opera moments for their work on Handel’s “Orlando.”

“Semele” was written by Handel as an oratio and was not originally intended to be staged. First produced in 1744, the piece was considered scandalous and wasn’t performed again for nearly two centuries. “This presentation at Ithaca College is among only a handful of fully staged productions since the 1970s, making the production a unique offering,” says Schlather.

The production team includes scenic designer Daniel Zimmerman, lighting designer Erik Herskowitz ’16 and costume designer Greg Robbins. The musical director is Blaise Bryski, the technical director is Guthrie Park ’16 and the stage manager is Danielle Campbell ’16.

A nationally recognized professional theatre-training program, the Department of Theatre Arts attracts students from across the globe. Throughout the school year, undergraduate students present all aspects of theatre in a professional model. Visit for further information.

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Dillingham Center accommodates all patrons. Individuals with special needs are asked to contact (607) 274-3224 to request accommodations as soon as possible.