NAU Opera announces the Arizona premiere of Handel’s comedic opera Serse (Xerxes) in the original Italian. The performance will take place on April 3, 5 and 6 in Ardrey Auditorium with English super titles.

A production of this opera in an English translation was performed by ASU Lyric Opera in 2003.

The production, directed by Nando Schellen and conducted by NAU Orchestra director Darko Butorac, will feature the NAU Symphony Orchestra, the NAU Opera chorus and student soloists.

The opera follows King Xerxes, who harbors unrequited love for a princess who loves his brother. Xerxes’ behavior leads to confusing and humorous events and true love travels far before all is clarified.

Student singers will alternate performances. They include Abraham Camargo and Maria Lopez as King Serse; Roland Mills and Rachael Hirsch as Arsamene; Sheronda McKee and Leah Allen as Romilda; Casey Dickey and Charlotte Barnett as Atalanta; Noelle Francis and Sarah Gilbert as Amastre; Jared Levin and Toby Kidd as Ariodate; David Bracamonte and Daniel Kwast as Elviro; and Ryann Stephens as Marco.

Schellen will offer a 15 minute pre-performance lecture about Handel and Serse starting 45 minutes before each performance.

The performances on April 3 and 5 will be at 7:30 p.m., and April 6 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $22.50 for adults, $18.50 for seniors, $10.50 for faculty and staff (NAU and Coconino Community College) and $8 for students and children. For tickets, call the Central Ticketing box office at (928) 523-5661. For information, call the opera desk at (928) 523-2211.

A DVD copy of this production is available through NAU Television Services for $40 by calling (800) 628-6266. Specify the performance of April 5 or April 6.