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Giulio Cesare (Handel)

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Old 27-04-12, 04:06 PM
ReinerTorheit ReinerTorheit is offline
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Default Giulio Cesare (Handel)

English National Opera have just announced there will stage a new production of JULIUS CAESAR (Giulio Cesare) in their next season.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9SP7O74WyY

Meanwhile, I found a complete video recording of their old staging - the one which had Dame JB as Caesar, and Valerie Masterson as Cleopatra. Also appearing are Sarah Walker and John Tomlinson, in the production that was notoriously nicknamed "Star Wars" backstage Noel Davis and Sir Charles Mackerras ran things musically (ND is at the harpsichord continuo most of the time).

Quite dated now of course, but at the time it was a ground-breaking way of staging baroque opera, and the idea of casting it with the biggest stars available fully fits with Handel's own casting priorities.
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Old 30-06-12, 08:53 PM
James C. Fretz James C. Fretz is offline
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Default ENO - Giulio Cesare

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Originally Posted by ReinerTorheit View Post
Meanwhile, I found a complete video recording of their old staging - the one which had Dame JB as Caesar, and Valerie Masterson as Cleopatra.
By complete you meant that the nearly 3 hour You Tube video represented the complete ENO production? I always assumed that this version wasn't entirely complete, that there were some cuts made.
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Old 01-07-12, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by James C. Fretz View Post
By complete you meant that the nearly 3 hour You Tube video represented the complete ENO production? I always assumed that this version wasn't entirely complete, that there were some cuts made.
Hi James!

Yes, I mean it was the complete performance staged at ENO ('complete' in the sense of not being chopped down to fit onto YouTube). The edition was made by Charles Mackerras to work with what were thought to be the 'maximum performance timings' an audience would sit through Handel operas at the time
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Old 06-07-12, 11:06 PM
James C. Fretz James C. Fretz is offline
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The edition was made by Charles Mackerras to work with what were thought to be the 'maximum performance timings' an audience would sit through Handel operas at the time
Greetings RT!

My, but we've come a long, long way in the ensuing 28 years of Handel performance practices. Back in 1984, I am embarrassed to admit that, apart from the Wasser- and Feuerwerkmusik, I knew relatively little about Handel operas. I'd like to think that in the ensuing years audiences have become somewhat more tolerant of an extended evening of (baroque) opera. It certainly wouldn't faze me.

I've never understood why, if audiences can sit through Wagner (and they do....you'll not find him edited) they can't summon up the concentration for Handel.
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Old 07-07-12, 09:55 AM
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Hi James!

I take your point about Wagner operas and their considerable length!

I think a lot of this comes down to audience expectation. For example in C18th London, audiences expected that after a main full-length opera, they were entitled to a one-act comedy, or 'afterpiece' opera as well... or they'd feel they'd been cheated on the ticket price!

Handel's operas - like Wagner's too! - were the blockbuster movies of their day, and audiences expected not only excellent music and singing, but special effects and costumes too. Sadly Handel (although not Wagner) is all too often presented in 'budget' productions predicated on ideas that they 'won't be popular'... and this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, of course. When they are staged with appropriate splendour, they take off
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