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Giulio Cesare, Opera in Three Acts (2006)

Not Rated  |  Video  |   |  Music  |  1 April 2006 (UK)
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 33 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

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(libretto), (after "Giulio Cesare in Egitto")
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Title: Giulio Cesare, Opera in Three Acts (Video 2006)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sarah Connolly ...
Angelika Kirchschlager ...
Danielle de Niese ...
Christophe Dumaux ...
Patricia Bardon ...
Christopher Maltman ...
Rachid Ben Abdeslam ...
Alexander Ashworth ...
William Christie ...
Himself - Conductor
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment ...
Themselves - Orchestra
The Glyndebourne Chorus ...
Nadja Zwiener ...
On-stage Violin
Sirena Tocco ...
Irene Hardy ...
Hatem Kamel ...
Actors (as Hatim Kamel)


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1 April 2006 (UK)  »

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Giulio Cesare, Opera in three acts
Libretto by Nicola Francesco Haym (as Nicola Francesco Haym), after Giacomo Francesco Bussani's "Giulio Cesare in Egitto"
Music by George Frideric Handel (as Georg Friedrich Händel)
Performed by Sarah Connolly, Alexander Ashworth, Patricia Bardon,
Angelika Kirchschlager, Danielle de Niese, Rachid Ben Abdeslam, Christophe Dumaux,
, Christopher Maltman, Nadja Zwiener with Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and The Glyndebourne Chorus
Conducted by William Christie
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One of my favourite productions of any of Handel's operas
7 June 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I always did like Handel's music, and watching various productions of his operas makes me appreciate it all the more. This Glyndebourne David McVicar-directed production is my favourite of the five Handel productions I've seen in a row over the past week or so, the others being in order of preference ENO's Xerxes, Zurich's Semele, (I think) ENO's Rinaldo and ENO'S Ariodante. Some might turn up their noses at how the very end is staged, I personally didn't mind it because not only have I seen more infuriating staging's elsewhere but everything else is so well done. David McVicar has always been a very interesting director, of course there have been some touches I've found questionable like in the Covent Garden production of Faust, but his Rigoletto especially is one of the better productions available. Here his directing is always fluid and involving, some of the best ever work he's done in my opinion. The costumes and sets are sumptuous, and the dancing is full of zest and is niftily choreographed. The musical aspect of the performance is superb, the music is gorgeous and is stylishly and beautifully performed by the orchestra and William Christie's conducting is buoyant. Of the many fine performances here, the biggest shout out goes to Danielle De Niese, whose Cleopatra is a revelation, beautiful, always engaging to watch and with a voice that fills the room and delights with its clear quality. Sarah Connolly's Cesare is a perfect match, she does convince as a man and her mezzo voice and stage presence are incredibly powerful handling her semi-quaver runs with magisterial ease. Angelika Kirchsclager is incredible as Sesto, Sesto has some of the opera's best music, and Kirchsclager's intensity, fury and passion really comes through here. Rachid Ben Abdeslam is an excellent Nerino, while not quite as sinister as Christopher Robson Christophe Dumax is a deliciously vindictive Tolomeo and as Achilla Christopher Maltman dominates the stage and yet another person who sings powerfully while never losing Handel's distinctive style. All in all, simply wonderful, I highly recommend it and De Niese, Christie and McVicar's interviews which are very interesting and full of enthusiasm. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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