Serse is considered Handel's most Mozartian opera. Passion is mixed with farce and satire; the folly of human nature is exposed but never ridiculed.
Unfortunately, in spite of the great beauty of music, "Serse" was not a success. It was withdrawn from London's Haymarket Theater after only five performances and forgotten for two hundred and fifty years.
It was revived in the 1980s and is slowly becoming part of the standard operatic repertoire. A complete recording of it was made in 1979.
The opening aria,Ombra mai fù, is Handel's best-known melodic structure.