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Sabine Devieilhe

Händel Giulio Cesare

From 11 May TO 22 May 2022
Théâtre des Champs-Elysées - Paris
Program

Händel : Giulio Cesare

Cast
  • Ensemble Artaserse
  • Conductor
    Philippe Jaroussky
  • Director
    Damiano Michieletto
  • Performers
    Giulio Cesare: Gaëlle Arquez
    Cleopatra: Sabine Devieilhe
    Sesto: Franco Fagioli
    Cornelia: Lucile Richardot
    Tolomeo: Carlo Vistoli
    Achilla: Francesco Salvadori
    Nireno: Paul-Antoine Bénos-Djian
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Théâtre des Champs-Elysées - Paris Location 15 Avenue Montaigne - 75008 Paris France

  • Venue's Capacity: 1985

The Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, initially planned for construction on the legendary avenue after which it was named, is in fact situated on Avenue Montaigne. It was in 1913 that the Parisian public first discovered the hall, an astonishing synthesis of tradition and modernity, with balconies that recall an Italian théâtre, while being supported by reinforced concrète, and with décoration at once sober and sumptuous. Speaking of eclecticism, the house's first season was quite surprising. THE BARBER OE SEVILLE was billed alongside BORIS GODUNOV, and it was here that Stravinsky RITE OF SPRING was premiered, provoking an infamous scandai. Nijinsky counted behind the scènes for the dancers in Russian, while Pierre Monteux kept time for the musicians, and Stravinsky ran back and forth between the stage and the audience, in an attempt to save the performance. After such an eventful start, the théâtre rapidely grew in réputation and Marcel Proust saluted Gabriel Astruc as being the manager «who staged BORIS GODUNOV, and who, in general, made up for the weaknesses of the Opéra and the Comic Opéra .»

After the First World War, concerts, opéras and ballets alternatively shared the programme, a tradition that still reigns today. Mozart's opéras were quite frequently staged, and performed by the visiting Vienna Opéra in 1924, 1947, 1949, and 1951. But the house also nurtured an affi-nity with Wagner's music; the Bayreuth troupe (with Lauritz Melchior) performed the entire Ring on the Champs-Elysées stage in 1929, and Furtwangler conducted the Walküre here in 1937.

Since the production of Boris Godunov that so enthused Marcel Proust, the théâtre also maintains close ties with the Russian réper­toire. After the bass Chaliapin and the Belgrad and Sofia Opéras, it is now the Kirov Théâtre from Saint Petersburg that regularly brings down the house.

More recently, the Champs-Elysées proposed Rimski-Korsakov's somewhat forgotten opéras in a séries of programmes that subtly mingled young talent with the grand tradition of the Vienna Philharmonie, in a concert hall entirely refurbished in 1986-87. Now equipped with a completely modernized stage machinery, the théâtre hasrevived the splendour of bygone days.

Théâtre des Champs-Elysées

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

Synopsis

Giulio Cesare

GIULIO CESERE, THE GREAT ITALIAN OPERA BY HANDEL

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.

HISTORY

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.

THE MAIN ROLES

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

Théâtre des Champs-Elysées

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