Fifteen years before the action of the opera starts, Nino, the King of Assyria and Semiramide’s husband, has been killed in a plot between Semiramide and Assur, her lover. On the same night, Ninia, the heir to the throne was kidnapped. Queen Semiramide has ruled alone since the king’s death, and their son has never been found. The appointed day has arrived when she must choose a successor to the throne, who will take Princess Azema’s hand.
It is the festival of Baal, and the temple is decorated for the celebrations. At the feet of the statue of Baal (in Italian ‘Belo’), the High Priest of the Magi, Oroe, kneels. Around him, other Magi and Ministers are prostrated, worshipping their God. Oroe is seized by a vision from Baal, and when he regains his consciousness he thanks the statue of Baal for the instructions he has received (‘Si, gran Nume, t’intesi’). He instructs the Magi and Ministers to open the temple doors and welcome the pilgrims who have come to make their offering.
Semiramide guide sections