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Franco Fagioli © Igor Studio

Händel Giulio Cesare

From 05 June TO 11 June 2022
Opéra Comédie - Montpellier

Händel : Giulio Cesare

  • Ensemble Artaserse
  • Conductor
    Philippe Jaroussky
  • Director
    Damiano Michieletto
  • Performers
    Giulio Cesare: Gaëlle Arquez
    Cleopatra: Emöke Baráth
    Sesto: Franco Fagioli
    Cornelia: Lucile Richardot
    Tolomeo: Carlo Vistoli
    Achilla: Francesco Salvadori
    Nireno: Paul Figuier
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Opéra Comédie - Montpellier Location 11 Boulevard Victor Hugo - 34000 Montpellier France

  • Venue's Capacity: 1000

It can accommodate 1200 people on 5 levels and is decorated by a multitude of friezes and columns on which are found the leaves and flowers of acanthus but also various symbolic elements of antiquity and art.
The sky of this room (ceiling) was realized by the painter Arnaud d'Urbec. It represents an allegory of the city of Montpellier. You will find the Arc de Triomphe, the climbing wine, the water tower ...
The chandelier weighs about 1.8 tons and has 120 light bulbs. It is made of Baccarat crystal and adorned with Greek masks and lyres.
When you look at the stage, you can see several curtains. First of all, the lambrequin, a wooden curtain painted trompe l'oeil, on which can be read the year of inauguration of the Opera: 1888. The little red curtain located just below is called the mantle D'Arlequin, in reference to the famous character of the Comedia dell'arte. Finally, behind this stage curtain is the "Iron Curtain", which serves as a firewall in case of a fire.

Opéra Comédie

The seating plan is given as an indication and has no contractual value.
The division of categories may differ depending on shows and dates.


Giulio Cesare


George Frederic Handel wrote and staged the Italian opera Giulio Cesare in Egitto, translated to Julius Ceasar in Egypt in 1724 for the Royal Academy of Music in London. German born Handel had settled in London in 1712 and quickly became a celebrated composer in the English royal court, by 1727 he had become a citizen of the UK.
The opera is often regarded as the finest example of Handel's Italian operas and was revived many times during his lifetime. The opera, like much of Handel's work fell out of fashion during the 19th century and was revived across Europe and North America in the early 20th century.


The historic meeting of Julius Ceasar and Cleopatra is the subject of this opera, which has remained the most popular of Handel's over the centuries. The role of Ceasar was originally written for a male castrati singer, who underwent the removal of their sexual organs before reaching puberty. This fine example of serious opera follows the paths of Cleopatra and Ceasar as they fall in love, negotiate and fight a war over Cleopatra's claim to be the queen of Egypt.

Act 1

Ceasar's forces arrive on the banks of the Nile having defeated the army of Pompeo, his wife, Cornelia begs for the life of Pompeo from the victorious Ceasar. The head of Pompeo is then presented to Ceasar as a show of support and loyalty from Cleopatra's brother, Tolomeo. Ceasar is angered at the death of Pompeo, which also prompts Pompeo's son, Sesto to swear revenge on Tolomeo. Told of the unhappiness of Ceasar at his gift, Tolomeo turns his back on an alliance with Ceasar. Cleopatra disguises herself as Lidia and enters Ceasar's camp to ask for his support to her claim over Alexandria and Egypt.

Act 2

Cleopatra, still disguised as Lidia seduces Ceasar and falls in love with him within the walls of her palace. At Tolomeo's palace the prince is rejected in his advances towards Cornelia, prompting her son Sesto to create a plan to kill Tomoleo. Ceasar returns to Cleopatra, but finds the palace stormed by his enemies forcing him to jump from a window to escape. Sesto is about to kill Tomoleo, but is stopped by Achilla bringing news of Ceasar's death.

Act 3

Unhappy with Cornelia's latest refusal of marriage, Achilla decides to declare his loyalty to Cleopatra, but is stabbed by Tomoleo before he can do so. Sesto is handed control of the armies of Achilla, but hands them to the returned Ceasar who states he will rescue Cornelia and kill Tomoleo. Ceasar leads Achilla's army to victory and claims Alexandria for Cleopatra and himself, Sesto kills Tomoleo before he can rape Cornelia leading to a celebration of victory.


Giulio Cesare, Ruler of Rome, Alto Castrato
Cleopatra, Egyptian Queen, Soprano
Tolomeo, Cleopatra's rival for the throne, Alto Castrato
Cornelia, Pompeo's Wife, Contralto
Sesto, Pompeo's Son, Soprano

Opéra Comédie

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