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Penguin Guide, January 2009

Extravagantly laid out on three DVDs, the Opus Arte version is important in offering a fine period performance of this most popular of the Handel operas. William Christie conducts the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and an outstanding cast in an account at once scholarly, lively and refreshing, a live recording of the 2005 production at Glyndebourne. Sarah Connolly sings superbly in the title-role, looking very boyish, opposite Danielle de Niese as Cleopatra, a soprano brighter-toned than usual for this role, a provocative figure. Patricia Bardon is an excellent Cornelia and Christophe Dumaux a characterful Tolomeo. Like most other versions, the action is updated, with the Roman army presented in the uniforms of the British army in India in the 19th century. Action is effectively presented against a permanent set, involving a sequence of classical arches seen in perspective.

The three DVDs offer one Act per disc, the first also including an interview with Danielle de Niese and the third a documentary called ‘Entertainment is not a dirty word’ by Ferenc van Damme. Apart from the excellence of much of the singing, it is the vivid and sensitive conducting of William Christie that makes this set worth investigating and leaves one feeling better than one did when the curtain went up. The performance closes in celebration, with Christie making the most of the trumpets in the final number.




Barry Brenesal
Fanfare, November 2006

Handel’s Giulio Cesare…has the kind of blatant theatricality that should find a larger audience for Baroque opera, without losing any musical or literary integrity in the process. There are several excellent performances, both as sung and acted…

To read the complete review, please visit Fanfare online.




Raymond Tuttle
Fanfare, November 2006

The Cesare…fits nicely with another growing interest of mine, because it is so clearly influenced by Bollywood. For me, the discovery of this production was Danielle De Niese, a witty, sexy, and very adorable Cleopatra.

To read the complete review, please visit Fanfare online.





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