Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Live opera’s final act

Season ends with ‘Giulo Cesare’

Natalie Dessay and David Daniels star in Handel’s “Giulo Cesare.” Courtesy photo

    In its final broadcast for the season, the Metropolitan Opera will present a new production of Handel’s “Giulo Cesare” at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 27, in the Bigwood Cinema 4 in Hailey.
    In advance, opera supporter Dick Brown will give a lecture at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25, in the gathering room in the lower level at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Sun Valley. He will talk about the performance practices in the Baroque and why these operas are popular again. He will also discuss Castrati.
    Handel’s most popular opera comes to the Met in David McVicar’s adventurous production, incorporating elements of Baroque theater, flapper style and even Bollywood-inspired dance routines. The world’s leading countertenor, David Daniels, sings the title role and Natalie Dessay is the irresistible Cleopatra.
    The opera is based on the 487 B.C. defeat by Julius Caesar of Pompey, the rival he pursued to Alexandria, the capital of Egypt. The kingdom is ruled jointly by Cleopatra and her younger brother Ptolemy. Pompey has appealed to Ptolemy for help.
    The work is considered by many to be Handel’s finest Italian opera, possibly even the best in the history of opera seria (typically an 18th Century Italian opera with a mythological or classical theme). It is admired for its superb vocal writing, its dramatic impact, and its deft orchestral arrangements. The opera was an immediate success when first performed in 1724.
    Theater doors open at 9:30 a.m. and the production, which is broadcast live in HD from New York City, begins at 10 a.m.  Run time is 4.5 hours.
    Sun Valley Opera and Metropolitan Theatres are the local sponsors of the MET HD: Live broadcasts. Tickets can be purchased at the theatre box office in Hailey in advance or on the day of the opera.
    General admission tickets cost $22. Tickets for seniors cost $20 and $18 for students. For more information, contact Bigwood Cinema at 578-0971.


Pre-performance chat
When: Thursday, April 25, at 6:30 p.m.
Where: St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Sun Valley.
Cost: Free.


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