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From Semele, HWV 58, Act II
Voice / Vocal Fach Soprano/ Mezzo/ Alto/ Countertenor
Original key E Major
Language English
Composer George Frideric Handel 1685 – 1759
Poet William Congreve 1670 – 1729
Range Oh sleep, why dost thou leave me?

Oh sleep, why dost thou leave me?, a setting by William Congreve, was composed by George Frideric Händel in 1743 and premiered in 1744. This aria takes place in Act II of Semele.

Handel had been living in England for three decades when he decided to compose Semele in 1743. Until then, he had mostly written Italian operas and had only started composing in English ten years earlier (his last Italian opera would be Deidamia in 1741). Handel wrote Semele in the summer of 1743 at first as an opera based on the myth of Semele, human captured by Jupiter and destroyed by his wife Juno in vengeance for the adultery. When Handel saw he had the possibility of being programmed during Lent for a series of renowned religious concerts, he made Semele into an oratorio. However, his adaptation was not well received and many disapproved of an oratorio based on secular text and involving adulterous sexual relations. Sadly enough, Semele suffered of such critics and was deprogrammed very fast. Today, Semele is frequently fully staged even if it is still performed in concert form.

Oh sleep, why dost thou leave me? is an aria sung by Semele during act II. Act I opens on the preparation of the marriage of Semele to Athamas, Price of Boeotia. Semele, the bride, has been postponing the wedding as much as she can, for she does not wish to marry Athamas. She is, indeed, in love with Jupiter and calls for his assistance. Her sister, Ino, in love with Athamas is distressed. As the preparations continue, Jupiter answers Semele’s prayers and the priests order the wedding to be abandoned. Everyone leaves the temple, except Athamas, desperate of the wedding cancellation and Ino desperately in love with him. He is astonished when she reveals she is in love with him. Their dialog is interrupted by Cadmus who narrates what he was just witnessed: Semele being carried off by an eagle, metamorphose of Jupiter!

Act II opens on Juno, wife of Jupiter, asking Iris what she has found out on her husband and his doings. As she reports on how he has installed Semele in a beautiful palace, she vows for revenge. They decide to ask for the magical assistance of the god of sleep.
In Scene 2, Semele awakens, regretful of her dream not being reality (she was dreaming of being with her lover, Jupiter). She expresses her regrets in her aria: Oh sleep, why dost thou leave me?

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Sing Oh sleep, why dost thou leave me? by G. F. Handel

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Oh sleep, why dost thou leave me? originated was composed by George Frideric Handel . The original lyrics are in English. The melodious note arrangement of Oh sleep, why dost thou leave me? ranges from pianissimo (very soft) mellow notes to forte (loud) notes carrying the player and the audience through an array of vivid emotions. The sweet soft beginning of the music piece gradually increases and decreases the loudness in smooth transitions. This music piece is decorated with phrases, slurs and an arpeggio. A perfect composition for piano players to try with an intermediate knowledge in music. Students can make use of this sweet music piece to improve their knowledge in music expressions, ornaments and sight-reading, while all music lovers could enjoy this brilliant extract whole-heartedly. Oh sleep, why dost thou leave me? sheet music produced by Lyribox is clear, precise and is transcribed in English by Lyribox. By purchasing Oh sleep, why dost thou leave me? sheet music from us, you can simply sing along as you play this masterpiece on your piano. Unlike many sheet music sold online with all black notations, sheet music we offer you is marked using three distinct colors. While piano notation is illustrated in black, the music expressions and the lyrics are given in red and blue respectively. Get Oh sleep, why dost thou leave me? by G. F. Handel sheet music from Lyribox today to enjoy and share this wonderful music composition with your friends and family.

Oh sleep, why dost thou leave me? piano accompaniment is offered by Lyribox is mellow and smooth. It feeds the poem an underlying pulse, adding a sense of propulsion to it. Meanwhile the vocal line flows in a dreamy leisure manner forcing the audience into a calming and languid mood. The vocal line of Oh sleep, why dost thou leave me? by Lyribox has the potential to provide slight pitch support for the voice’s sometimes unusual intervals, enhancing the fullness of it. This accompaniment is not at all demanding. Using these rich Oh sleep, why dost thou leave me? accompaniments you could create one of the most brilliant performances that is pregnant with layers and layers of expressions. Purchase the Oh sleep, why dost thou leave me? piano accompaniment together with the vocal line accompaniment from Lyribox today!

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