Serse (Italian pronunciation: [ˈsɛrse]; English title: Xerxes; HWV 40) is an opera seria in three acts by George Frideric Handel. It was first performed in London on 15 April 1738. The Italian libretto was adapted by an unknown hand from that by Silvio Stampiglia for an earlier opera of the same name by Giovanni Bononcini in 1694. Stampiglia's libretto was itself based on one by Nicolò Minato that was set by Francesco Cavalli in 1654. The opera is set in Persia (modern-day Iran) in 480 BC and is very loosely based upon Xerxes I of Persia, though there is little in either the libretto or music that is relevant to that setting. Serse, originally sung by a soprano castrato, is now usually performed by a soprano (or mezzo-soprano) and sopranist.

Original Name Serse
Librettist Silvio Stampiglia
Date of composition 1738 (1737-1738)
Premiered 1738, April 15th (King's Theatre in the Haymarket) in London, UK
Type Opera
Catalogue HWV 40
Spoken language Italian
Instruments Orchestra
Voice (Castrato) - Serse
Voice (Soprano) - Arsamene
Voice (Contralto) - Amastre
Voice (Soprano) - Romilda
Voice (Soprano) - Atalanta
Voice (Bass) - Ariodate
Voice (Bass) - Elviro
In listings Famous Works
Autotranslations beta Georg Friedrich Haendel: Xerxes, HWV 40
Georg Friedrich Händel: Xerxes, HWV 40
Georg Friedrich Händel: Xerxes, HWV 40