16 Jan-5 Feb 2023
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage
3:45, incl. 1 interval
Caesar and Cleopatra, passion and war
Romance and power take centre stage in Handel’s Giulio Cesare, set against the backdrop of Ancient Rome and Egypt. After directing a highly praised production of Rudi Stephan’s Die ersten Menschen in June 2020, Calixto Bieito returns to Dutch National Opera to immerse himself in a very different type of family drama, with an added political dimension.
Photo: Marta Syrko
Opera in three acts
Sung in Italian
Libretto Nicola Haym
* Dutch National Opera Studio
Le Concert d’Astrée
Co-production with the Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona)
This production contains scenes of sexual content and violence that some audience members might find disturbing.
Along with the printed programme book, we also offer online programme information for this performance. The online programme will take you behind the scenes with in-depth stories, articles, and interviews with the creators and cast.
Giulio Cesare on Arte
Tune in for the vocal fireworks and beautiful baroque music of Giulio Cesare on Thursday 2 February at 7pm. Giulio Cesare can then be watched live on streaming platform Arte. The stream will remain available for a whole year thereafter.
‘This production of Giulio Cesare features a cast of incredible Baroque interpreters, acclaimed for their vocal and acting abilities alike’
EMMANUELLE HAÏM - MUSICAL DIRECTION
Handel's 'Giulio Cesare' as raw and topical psychodrama - In Handel's opera 'Giulio Cesare', director Calixto Bieito plays with dream and the disillusionment of power and wealth. The cast is superb and has optimal freedom of movement. ... Conductor Emmanuelle Haïm and her Le Concert d'Astrée are the backbone of Giulio Cesare, in some arias she lets her musicians rock and then drags you into long lines of sorrow, with beautifully lit individual details ... .
Potty 'Giulio Cesare' arouses mere irritation, despite musical quality - ... In this case, four stars for the music, zero for the direction. ... Fortunately, Emmanuelle Haïm was in the orchestra pit, having brought her fantastic ensemble Le Concert d'Astrée. In that pit, Handel happily got all the credit he was due with rhythmic drive, an ear for detail and wonderful accompaniments.
A serious opera with humour and modern spectacle - Spectacular video effects with breathtaking singing, larded with funny quips keep the audience entertained for three and a half hours. Every musical performance by singers and orchestra is rewarded with ovational applause. ... Those looking for an opera feast themed on the tactical love affair between historical figures Julius Caesar and Cleopatra can buy a ticket at the Dutch National Opera with confidence until 5 February.
Giulio Cesare in super-rich circles - ... Initially, the world Bieito paints remains somewhat distant from the viewer. ... But gradually it becomes clear what Bieito intends. ... From the outset, full-blooded singing and musicianship is evident. Haïm has repeatedly proven to have a distinct talent for working with singers. ... A vocal feast, where each singer reigns supreme and is sustained at that superior energy level from start to finish. Bravi!
Top singing in Bieito's chilly jetset-Cesare - ... 'Virtue' is for the rabble, here there is plenty of sexual and physical harassment. A cynical and amusing scene, surely hitting the true nature of historical despots Julius Caesar and Cleopatra. Handel himself, however, tells a richer story. ... Emmanuelle Haïm is so entwined with Handel that her warm-blooded conducting from the harpsichord was continuously pleasing.
With ancient games of politics and love, this 'Giulio Cesare' has little to do - ... There they were again, director Calixto Bieito's hardly innovative stick figures: the violence, blood and humiliation.
Le Concert d’Astrée
Le Concert d'Astrée is an instrumental and vocal ensemble dedicated to performing Baroque music under the direction of Emmanuelle Haïm. lt was founded in 2000 and is currently one of the world's finest ensembles specialising in this reper to ire. lt has been in residence at the Opéra de Lille since 2004 and has won national and international acclaim for its performances. Le Concert d'Astrée also tours internationally, regularly performing at world-class venues in programmes dedicated to 17th and18th century music. Working with renowned directors such as Christof Loy, Barrie Kosky and Guy Cassiers, Le Concert d'Astrée has performed in numerous staged opera productions at the Opéra de Lille. In the 2022/23 season, Le Concert d'Astrée will provide the musical accompaniment to Calixto Bieito's staging of Giulio Cesare.