Art Alert: Julius Caesar in Egypt at the Cairo Opera House

Ahram Online, Monday 6 May 2013

On Wednesday 15 May, Bibliotheca Alexandrina Orchestra and Choir will give a concert performance of Handel's Julius Caesar in Egypt

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Still from Giulio Cesare by Metropolitan Opera, performed in April 2013

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina Orchestra, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Choir with choir master Rodica Ocheseanu, and various soloists will put on a performance of George Frideric Handel's Julius Caesar in Egypt (Giulio Cesare in Egitto) on Wednesday 15 May at the Cairo Opera House's main hall.

The role of Cleopatra will be sung by Dolores Lahuerta, Caesar by Ashraf Sewailam, Cornelia by Farah Dibany and Sesto by Fatma Said. The conductor of the evening is Ahmed El-Saedi.

Known simply as Giulio Cesare, Handel's composition is a large scale opera in three acts with a libretto by Nicola Francesco Haym.

Due to the thematic contents, captivating plot and masterful musical passages, the opera, which is set in Egypt during the reign of Cleopatra, was an instant success when performed for the first time in London in 1724.

The listener is transported into times of great battles, intrigues and passion between Julius Caesar and Cleopatra, stories which have inspired writers, poets, painters, sculptors and musicians across the centuries.

The same opera was recently performed in full by the Metropolitan Opera in April. Its 27 April performance was screened live in high definition around the globe, including Egypt where audiences admired the production at the Cairo Opera House's small hall.

The coming performance by orchestra and choir from Alexandria is not a full opera production but rather a concert performance which focuses on musical elements, presenting a number of significant arias, without a full dramaturgical action thread.

Programme:

8pm, Wednesday 15 May

Main Hall, Cairo Opera House, Zamalek, Cairo

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