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The production was originally designed for English National Opera and later revised for the Metropolitan Opera. The substantial looking sets were by John Pascoe and the well-appointed eighteenth century styled costumes by Michael Stennett. John Copley's direction was in keeping with the Handelian time period and told the story of this fanciful libretto in an easily understandable manner.

Ewa Podles in the title role of the San Diego Opera production of Handel's 'Giulio Cesare in Egitto'. Photo © 2006 Ken Howard
Ewa Podles in the title role of the San Diego Opera production of Handel's 'Giulio Cesare in Egitto'. Photo © 2006 Ken Howard

Podles, a vocally powerful Caesar sang the difficult music with a strong technique, fluent virtuosity and exquisite beauty of tone. One often hears technically proficient sopranos trill on high notes, but Podles can trill on her low tones and the effect is magical. Her Cesare was both heroic and vulnerable, so she made the legendary conqueror into a recognizable human being.

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Copyright © 7 May 2006 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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