You can enjoy some of the opera’s highlights below…
If any aria sums up the character of Cesare it’s Act I scene IX’s ‘Va tacito’. Cesare doesn’t trust Tolomeo but resolves to behave like a hunter, stalking silently after his prey. A solo horn gives the feel of a hunting aria and a wonderful cantering, lilting melody amplifies that. The aria itself shows Cesare absolutely in control – amused, rather than worried, by the scheming of his enemy.
Cleopatra is a character of extremes, and her music reflects that. She appears first as all-confident seductress, singing ‘V’adoro pupille’ to Cesare as a sort of exquisitely erotic tableau. So celestial is the aria, with its magical instrumental accompaniment, that Cesare is utterly beguiled. This is no mere seduction aria, but something altogether more transcendent.
Later in the opera, when Cesare has prevailed and all is well, Cleopatra slips into the role of the confident, joyful seductress, singing ‘Da tempeste’ – a dancing aria, whose insistent rhythms are a gleeful musical crow of victory. Infectious and catchy, this is Cleopatra at her most girlish.
23 June – 23 August 2024
See our legendary production this summer - Bollywood meets Baroque in this utterly original retelling of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar’s tempestuous love affair.