A dazzling 'tour de force'
Handel's 'Giulio Cesare' -
'Graham Pushee sings with utmost bravura, fire and clarity ...'
Haym as librettist and Handel as composer connived at adjusting the ages
of Caesar and Cleopatra so as to deprive the one of his baldness and to grant
the other so experienced a coquetry that, in this production, she is prepared
to seduce while semi-submerged in a bathtub. It matters not a jot that the
mournful Cornelia as Pompey's widow never set foot in Egypt, nor that Sesto
was stepson to her and not son. Bernard Shaw's Ptolemy XIII is vastly
preferable to Haym's, a petulant boy rather than lascivious and sadistic
tyrant. So much for history, which has hardly bothered with opera.
Yvonne Kenny as Cleopatra and Graham Pushee as Caesar in Act II of Handel's 'Julius Caesar in Egypt'. DVD screenshot © EuroArts Music International GmbH
Copyright © 4 May 2005
Robert Anderson, London UK