George F. Handel's Giulio Cesare was an enormous disappointment. We were worn out with the repeated lyrics time after time, wondering just why the lines of a piece a piece of music need to be repeated over and over to make itheir effect felt. It once was said of Roger Williams, founder of the Rhode Island colony, that he thought truth is improved by repetition. Maybe Handel felt the same way.

Natalie Dessay as Cleopatra performed brilliantly, both in her singing and in her acting. Alice Coote as Sextus was unconvincing and a bit contrived. David Daniels as Julius Caesar likewise seemed artificial, unreal, simply not really into the role.

The final scene was imaginative, itself pointing to the sort of reconciliation in Egypt that was needed. To have Ptolemy and Achillas both reappear, sitting alongside everyone else in the cast, was great staging and very creative thinking.

So, all in all, the opera was a mixed bag. I would not recommend it to anyone
else.