Opera Season 2014-2015
GIULIO CESARE
Händel’s Opera for the first time in Turin with a fascinating stage
production by Lauren Pelly set in the Egyptian Museum
direction Alessandro De Marchi
Teatro Regio, Thursday, 20th November 2014, at 20:00
Thursday, 20th November following the inaugural production of Otello, and to
mark the season “without boundaries”, the Regio presents its second season title: Georg
Friedrich Handel’s Giulio Cesare. The stage production is the one created in 2011 for the
Opéra National de Paris by Laurent Pelly – already the author of our award-winning La
Traviata – that recreates the historical events in the Egyptian Museum; perfect for a city
like Turin. Alessandro De Marchi, one of the most renowned interpreters of the Italian
Baroque repertoire, will conduct the Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Regio.
Costumes and direction are by Laurent Pelly, the direction revived, for the occasion,
by Laurie Feldman and the costumes by Victoria James. The scenes are by Chantal
Thomas and lighting by Joël Adam. The Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Regio - led
by Claudio Fenoglio - are conducted by Alessandro De Marchi.
The director Laurent Pelly presents a deep understanding on the notion of “antiquity”
in as much to reflect what it really was over the centuries. The idea of setting Giulio Cesare
in the deposits of the Egyptian Museum came to Pelly during his visit to Turin, a city that
owes its origins to the ancient Romans, who in the time of Julius Caesar settled a castrum
which later became a roman settlement. Strolling across the Palatine Hill and seeing Julius
Caesar’s statue and the renowned Egyptian Museum in Turin, Pelly found the key to give
new life to Handel’s baroque masterpiece. Finding sets and costumes inspired by
archaeological artefacts at the Egyptian Museum of Turin is impressive. In this mysterious
and magical environment, the real people move along with the characters, those in the
opera, who appear as ghosts in a sort of sentimental and “archaeological” dream, where
time is condensed and different ages are mixed.
Alessandro De Marchi, Director of the Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik, an
expert musician in the baroque field with a high philological training practice, is back on
the podium of the Regio. Speaking of Julius Caesar, he said: «The Regio extends its offer,
accessing a hitherto little known repertoire and yet choosing the right title. We are talking
about an opera (Giulio Cesare) and an author (Händel) very dear to the public. The opera is
full of beautiful and loved pieces, almost a compilation of virtuosity; a combination one
could not resist».
Giulio Cesare is the contralto Sonia Prina, a specialist of Vivaldi and Händel’s
repertoire, with numerous recordings for major record companies. She is an
internationally recognized artist whose debut was at La Scala in her early twenties
alongside Juan Diego Flórez. Her soft, smooth and amber tone, combined with a highly
specialized training in the Baroque repertoire have made her a favourite performer of
major music ensembles, including the Accademia Bizantina, the Giardino Armonico,
Kammerorchester Basel and Concert d’Astrée.
Cleopatra will be the Anglo-Australian soprano Jessica Pratt. Equipped with a bright
timbre supported by a considerable extension and a perfect virtuoso technique, she began
her training in Australia and then studied with Renata Scotto and Lella Cuberli. Jessica
Pratt is one of the most demanded singers internationally, both to the Baroque and to the
bel canto repertoire. On her role debut as Cleopatra here at the Regio, she will face one of
the most intensive roles of the entire Händel repertoire.
Sara Mingardo will play the role of Cornelia. A contralto of international career,
Mingardo has collaborated with famous conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Colin Davis
and Myung-Whun Chung. She is the winner of numerous awards including the Grammy
Award for her performance as Anna in Les Troyens. Her musicality, elegance and style are
properties of “a true contralto’s voice, qualities she can display both in the Baroque opera
and in sacred music” as we read in the presentation by the authoritative jury of the Premio
Abbiati, conferred to her in 2009.
The Spanish mezzo soprano Maite Beaumont will be making her role debut at the
Teatro Regio, as Sesto. She has had numerous collaborations with leading conductors such
as Christopher Hogwood, Alan Curtis, Giovanni Antonini and Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
Beaumont was also the protagonist of stunning rediscoveries at a musicological level:
bringing back to light the opera Flavius Bertaridus by Telemann, with the world premiere
recorded with De Marchi. The cast of five performances of Giulio Cesare (20, 23, 25, 27, 29
November) is completed by the countertenor Jud Perry in the role of Tolomeo, the
baritone Guido Loconsolo playing Achilla, the countertenor Riccardo Angelo Strano as
Nireno and the bass Antonio Abete in the role of Curio.
The opera Giulio Cesare was staged for the first time in 1724 at the King’s Theatre in
London. Its immediate success allowed the rapid spread of the title across Europe,
confirming Handel as the undisputed master of the opera seria style. Based on the
Metastasio model, the opera, with a libretto by Nicola Francesco Haym, is set in 48 BC and
tells the story of Julius Caesar in Egypt; from the clashes with the pharaoh Ptolemy to the
meeting with Cleopatra. The drama is clearly divided into two groups of characters: the
Romans (Giulio Cesare, Cornelia, Sesto and Curio) and the Egyptians (Cleopatra, Ptolemy,
Achilles and Nireno). The happy ending portrays the relationship between Julius Caesar
and Cleopatra and the death of the wicked Ptolemy by Sesto, who killed Ptolemy to
avenge the death of his father.
For the entire 2014-2015 the agreement between the Teatro Regio and RAI-Radio 3 for
the live broadcast of all premieres has been confirmed: Giulio Cesare can be listened to on
Thursday, 20th November at 20:00. This presentation is part of the circuit of broadcastings,
Euroradio.
At the Piccolo Regio Puccini the Incontri con l’Opera will carry on taking place also this
year. Giulio Cesare will be presented to the public on Wednesday, 19th November at 17:30
by Carlo Majer, who will reveal the origins, history and curiosity of Händel’s masterpiece.
For music lovers or the curious ones who like to discover the rules of the staging, on
Saturday, 15th November from 15:00 to 18:00, the first Sabato all’opera will take place. At
this occasion the opera Giulio Cesare will be presented and you can watch part of the
opera’s rehearsal. Admission: €8. Reservations at Ufficio Attività Scuola - Tel. 011.8815.209.
Paola Giunti returns to the theatre’s backstage bringing us some curiosity about
interpreters and fitting of Giulio Cesare with “Sketches of Passion”, (Pillole di Passione)
published on the website of the Regio www.teatroregio.torino.it and on our channel
YouTube.com/TeatroRegioTorino.
Tickets are on sale at the ticket office of the Teatro Regio. Piazza Castello 215 - Tel.
011.8815.241/242. At Infopiemonte-Torino Cultura at the Teatro Stabile’s ticket office or
via the website www.vivaticket.it and by phone (providing a credit card) by calling
011.8815.270. For more information: 011.8815.557.
Follow the Teatro Regio on our social media:
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Turin, 27th October 2014
PRESS OFFICE
Teatro Regio, Communication and Public Relations Department
Paola Giunti (Director)
Sara Zago, Paolo Cascio (Media Relation)
Phone: +39 011 8815233 – 8815239
[email protected]
[email protected] - [email protected] - [email protected]
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GIULIO CESARE - Teatro Regio di Torino