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Commentary

Giulio Cesare
09 Apr 2007

'Giulio Cesare' at The Met — Two Views

Here are two views of Handel's Giulio Cesare in Egitto (HWV 17), a drama in three acts, performed at The Met on 6 April.

Sex and Politics, à la Caesar and Cleopatra

By ANTHONY TOMMASINI [NY Times, 9 April 2007]

The Metropolitan Opera has a big impediment to producing Handel operas: its enormous auditorium. Both “Rodelinda,” which the Met first mounted in 2004 starring Renée Fleming, and “Giulio Cesare,” which opened on Friday in a revival of a staging by John Copley introduced in 1988, were originally presented by Handel in the King’s Theater in London, which seated just 850. In principle the Met’s 3,700-seat house is way too big for early-18th-century opera. Some of the most ravishing moments in “Giulio Cesare” are pensively lyrical arias accompanied by only a small complement of continuo instruments.

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Giulio Cesare, Metropolitan Opera, New York

By Martin Bernheimer [Financial Times, 9 April 2007]

There wasn’t much drama onstage when the Metropolitan had its oh-so-tasteful way with Handel’s Giulio Cesare on Friday. There was plenty of drama backstage.

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