Dates

16 Jan-5 Feb 2023

Location

Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Main Stage

Running time

3:45, incl. 1 interval

Tickets

From € 20

Julie Fuchs

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

Caesar and Cleopatra, passion and war

In the midst of the Roman Civil War (49-45 BCE), Giulio Cesare (Julius Caesar) discovers that his rival Pompeo has been cruelly executed by the Egyptian king Tolomeo. While Pompeo’s widow Cornelia mourns her husband, and his son Sesto vows vengeance on the man who killed his father, Tolomeo’s sister and wife Cleopatra decides to seduce Cesare in order to enlist his support and tip the balance of power in her favour.

 

Baroque

The music of Giulio Cesare breathes the atmosphere of the Baroque, featuring various period instruments such as the harpsichord, the recorder and the viola da gamba. The arias too are incredibly diverse – some feature virtuosic vocal fireworks, while others may be characterised as the most subtle Handel has ever written. The opera is in expert hands with Emmanuelle Haïm, who specializes in the Baroque repertoire and has an impressive and much-praised discography to her name. Both Haïm and her ensemble Le Concert d’Astrée will be making their Dutch National Opera debut.

Spanish opera and theatre director Calixto Bieito, renowned for his visceral and visually striking approach, promises to wow with a gripping interpretation of Giulio Cesare. Bieito has a first-class ensemble of Handel singers at his disposal, including two rising opera stars, both making their debut with Dutch National Opera – French soprano Julie Fuchs as Cleopatra and Italian mezzo-soprano Cecilia Molinari as Sesto. In addition, French countertenor Christophe Dumaux, who has made a name for himself as a Handel specialist, will return to Dutch National Opera in the opera’s title role.

Performance information

Opera in three acts

Sung in Italian

Libretto  Nicola Haym

Musical direction  Emmanuelle Haïm
Stage direction  Calixto Bieito
Set design  Rebecca Ringst
Costume design  Ingo Krügler
Lighting design  Michael Bauer
Video  Sarah Derendinger
Dramaturgy  Bettina Auer

Giulio Cesare  Christophe Dumaux
Curio  Georgiy Derbas-Richter*
Cornelia  Teresa Iervolino
Sesto  Cecilia Molinari
Cleopatra  Julie Fuchs
Tolomeo  Cameron Shahbazi
Achilla  Frederik Bergman
Nireno  Jake Ingbar*

* Dutch National Opera Studio

Le Concert d’Astrée

Co-production with the Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona)

 

Content warning

This production contains scenes of sexual content and violence that some audience members might find disturbing.

Online programme

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.

Ticket prices

Check out the ticket prices per price category via the link below.

Ticket prices

Price
category
Standard CJP | City Pass |
Youth up to 16
1st € 130,00 € 117,00 
2nd € 100,00  € 93,00
3rd € 80,00 € 66,00
4th € 60,00 € 50,00
5th € 42,00 € 36,00
6th € 20,00 € 17,00

Dutch National Opera & Ballet works with a system of dynamic pricing: during the booking period the ticket prices may increase, depending on demand. Prices exclude € 2,00 booking fee per ticket.

Student discount and student alert
When a performance is not sold out, students can buy tickets on the day from 1pm for only €19 - regardless of which price category is ordered. Don't forget to bring your college card to be checked at the door.

For some productions a student alert is given. This allows you to book earlier than on the day with student discounts. If you want to sign up for the student alerts, check here.

Attend Giulio Cesare for 27 euros

Giulio Cesare will be recorded on January 25 and February 2. Because of the cameras present, a small number of seats provide a slightly more limited view of the stage. These seats can only be reserved at the box office by phone (020 6255 455) for the significantly reduced price of € 27.

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Scene Giulio Cesare
Scene Giulio Cesare | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scene Giulio Cesare
Scene Giulio Cesare | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scene Giulio Cesare
Scene Giulio Cesare | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scene Giulio Cesare
Scene Giulio Cesare | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scene Giulio Cesare
Scene Giulio Cesare | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scene Giulio Cesare
Scene Giulio Cesare | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scene Giulio Cesare
Scene Giulio Cesare | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scene Giulio Cesare
Scene Giulio Cesare | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scene Giulio Cesare
Scene Giulio Cesare | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scene Giulio Cesare
Scene Giulio Cesare | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scene Giulio Cesare
Scene Giulio Cesare | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scene Giulio Cesare
Scene Giulio Cesare | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scene Giulio Cesare
Scene Giulio Cesare | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scene Giulio Cesare
Scene Giulio Cesare | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Scene Giulio Cesare
Scene Giulio Cesare | Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Artists
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

Mixed responses
in the media
17 January

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 ... .

17 January

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.

20 January

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.

16 January

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!

18 January

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.

17 January

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

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.

Introduction

Almost every performance at Dutch National Opera & Ballet is preceded by an introduction, with background information that can deepen your theatre visit. The introductions are in Dutch and admission is free by showing a valid ticket.

Introduction Giulio Cesare by: Jasmijn van Wijnen

Time: 45 minutes before the start of each performance
Location: 2nd balcony

Giulio Cesare - aria

Giulio Cesare - aria
Repetitie Giulio Cesare | Foto: Milagro Elstak
Rehearsal Giulio Cesare | Photo: Milagro Elstak
Repetitie Giulio Cesare | Foto: Milagro Elstak
Rehearsal Giulio Cesare | Photo: Milagro Elstak
Repetitie Giulio Cesare | Foto: Milagro Elstak
Rehearsal Giulio Cesare | Photo: Milagro Elstak
Repetitie Giulio Cesare | Foto: Milagro Elstak
Rehearsal Giulio Cesare | Photo: Milagro Elstak
Repetitie Giulio Cesare | Foto: Milagro Elstak
Rehearsal Giulio Cesare | Photo: Milagro Elstak
Repetitie Giulio Cesare | Foto: Milagro Elstak
Rehearsal Giulio Cesare | Photo: Milagro Elstak
Repetitie Giulio Cesare | Foto: Milagro Elstak
Rehearsal Giulio Cesare | Photo: Milagro Elstak
Repetitie Giulio Cesare | Foto: Milagro Elstak
Rehearsal Giulio Cesare | Photo: Milagro Elstak
Repetitie Giulio Cesare | Foto: Milagro Elstak
Rehearsal Giulio Cesare | Photo: Milagro Elstak
Repetitie Giulio Cesare | Foto: Milagro Elstak
Rehearsal Giulio Cesare | Photo: Milagro Elstak
Repetitie Giulio Cesare | Foto: Milagro Elstak
Rehearsal Giulio Cesare | Photo: Milagro Elstak
Repetitie Giulio Cesare | Foto: Milagro Elstak
Rehearsal Giulio Cesare | Photo: Milagro Elstak
Repetitie Giulio Cesare | Foto: Milagro Elstak
Rehearsal Giulio Cesare | Photo: Milagro Elstak
Repetitie Giulio Cesare | Foto: Milagro Elstak
Rehearsal Giulio Cesare | Photo: Milagro Elstak
Repetitie Giulio Cesare | Foto: Milagro Elstak
Rehearsal Giulio Cesare | Photo: Milagro Elstak
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