It’s a comedy with undertones of seriousness and suffering, not like most of Handel’s other operas. “Xerxes” is now playing at the Detroit Opera on select dates March 4-12, with a contemporary spin on the classic 1738 masterpiece about love and the limits of power.  

American countertenor on the rise Key’Mon Murrah, plays Xerxes, the most powerful man in Persia. Soprano Lauren Snouffer plays his love interest Romilda. One Detroit producer Sarah Zientarski-Smith got a behind-the-scenes look at the Detroit Opera’s “Xerxes.”  

She talks with Murrah and Snouffer about their role as the leads in the opera, and what it means specifically for Murrah to play his dream role as Xerxes. Plus, she talks with “Xerxes” conductor Dame Jane Glover and Detroit Opera President Wayne Brown about the strength of the cast and the exciting performances audiences can look forward to. 

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