Giulio Cesare in Egitto (HWV 17)

Staged performance in Italian

7:00 pm | May 21st, 2022 | ca. 4 h
Deutsches Theater Göttingen

It was a trio of works in the 1724/25 season that established Handel’s unparalleled position among the opera composers of his time. Tamerlano: the radical centrepiece. Rodelinda, re de’ Langobardi: the colourfully multifaceted capstone. And both the opening, and the culmination of this radiant chord: Giulio Cesare in Egitto. It is the favourite of many, and is even considered by some as the best of the 42 operas by “Il caro Sassone”, the beloved Saxon – including our Artistic Director George Petrou.

So it is as understandable as it is bold that he is bringing it to the stage already in his first Göttingen Festival season – and that, on both the podium and in the director’s chair. This makes sense in two ways: for one, because Petrou has already staged successful productions such as Alcina, Idomeneo, West Side Story, Kiss Me, Kate and Sweeney Todd as well as operetta and drama, focusing on a musician’s approach to theatre and looking into defining the close bonds between musical dramaturgy and the stage action. For another, because Handel’s fine characterization and the complex psychology of the characters are inextricably interwoven with the compositional dramaturgy.

As understandable as it is bold: such is also the plan that Cleopatra devises to realize her claim to the Egyptian throne which her brother Tolomeo occupies. For this reason, she seduces Caesar into helping her – with sweeping success and lasting consequences for both of them: cunning turns into lust and passion. The Roman ruler also falls in love with her, but finds himself confronted with a bloodthirsty revenge plot ...

100 years after Oskar Hagen rediscovered the masterpiece, it is returning in a co-production with the Nederlandse Reisopera to Göttingen.

Further performances:

13.5., 6 pm

15.5., 6 pm

16.5., 3 pm

18.5., 7 pm

22.5., 5 pm

Yuriy Mynenko

Countertenor – Giulio Cesare

Sophie Junker

Soprano – Cleopatra

Nicholas Tamagna

Countertenor – Tolomeo

Francesca Ascioti

Contralto – Cornelia

Katie Coventry

Mezzo-soprano – Sesto Pompeo

Riccardo Novaro

Baritone – Achilla

Artur Janda

Bass-Baritone – Curio

Rafał Tomkiewicz

Countertenor – Nireno

FestspielOrchester Göttingen

George Petrou

Director and Conductor

Paris Mexis

Stage and costume designer

Stella Kaltsou

Lightning designer

Supported by

Recorded by

In Cooperation with

Hygiene rules

Please understand that New Horizons, the Göttingen Int. Handel Festival 2022, will be held in accordance with the 3G rule – vaccinated, recovered or tested on the day! Masks (minimum protection level FFP2 or equivalent) must be worn until you take your seat. We also strongly recommend to keep the masks on during the entire event.