31.03.12 7pm, RNCM, 124 Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9RD; From £19

Ancient Persia: a land of magnificent palaces and scented gardens, offering shade from the heat of the sun and respite from the both the pleasures and pains of true love…Atalanta has fallen for Arsamene, yet he has feelings for Romilda – as does his brother, King Xerxes, when he is not declaring his love to a plane tree… Handel’s comedydrama muses on love and kingship, as Xerxes wrestles with the conflict between his duty and his heart in a typically Handellian plot of misunderstandings, double bluff and cross-dressing. Featuring a number of famous arias, including the renowned ‘Ombra mai fu’, this sparking new RNCM Opera production, sung in Italian with English subtitles, is sure to delight.

For full cast and production details see the RNCM Spring Events Guide 2012