Written October 22, 2014
David McVicar's production was unexpected. This production supposedly took place in colonial times. In one of the first scenes Cleopatra appears dressed like "a flapper" and does a dance that looks like a Charleston. The guards wear pith hemets, with red jackets and revolvers on their hips. They could have passed as "Mounties," if not for the pith helmets. Initially the water background had clipper ships but toward the end there were battleships ala WW11 and dirigibles in the sky. The closing scene could have taken place in the Court of Versaille. It was as if Mr. McVicar went into costumes and props and took whatever he liked with no concern for keeping a consistent timeline. Anachronisms abounded!!!!
Written October 20, 2014
Very entertaining. good music- good singing, contra-tenors galore (a little bit hard to get used to) Excellent aria from Daniels and Dessay,near the end.
This movie even contains time travel and resurrection - ha ha
Written November 26, 2014
The arias were unbelievable! Natalie Dessay was wonderful as Cleopatra and did very lively choreography. A nice balance of drama and comedy -- absolutely delightful sensory experience!
Written December 18, 2014
This was a wonderful performance, especially by Natalie Dessay but all of the cast. It's a long opera but so full of action that the pace made it seem much shorter. Beautiful baroque music and the staging with much dancing was remarkable.
Written October 27, 2014
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 of music need to be repeated over and over to make their 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