Giulio Cesare: Cleopatra's Needle

George Frideric Handel - Autumn 2017

Handel’s greatest creation and a thrilling story of passion and revenge in the midst of bitter power struggles over the succession to Egypt’s throne.

Director 
James Conway
Conductor 
Jonathan Peter Kenny
Designer 
Cordelia Chisholm
Lighting Designer 
Mark Howland

English Touring Opera has assembled an outstanding cast for this prestige production, dominated by a performance from Soraya Mafi as Cleopatra that verges on the divine. Artistically, it has a worth beyond rubies.

Whatsonstage ★★★★

Giulio Cesare is Handel’s most celebrated opera: a thrilling story of passion and revenge featuring a treasure trove of great arias of immense dramatic intensity.

The opera follows the events surrounding Julius Caesar’s conquest of Egypt, as well as his uneasy alliance and then romance with fabled Egyptian queen Cleopatra.

English Touring Opera is presenting this 4-hour masterpiece as two separate shows, The Death of Pompey and Cleopatra’s Needle: either makes for a great night out, so book for just one if this is your first baroque experience, or book for both to hear every note in the score.

In Part II, most of the protagonists are at their lowest ebb: Pompey’s family is enslaved, Caesar is presumed dead, and Cleopatra is made captive by her brother. When their fortune changes, Caesar and Cleopatra are changed also, in ways they never expected. This evening starts with the last 5 scenes from Part 1 repeated with variations, to give audiences a complete and rounded experience.

New production, sung in Italian with English surtitles
Running time: 2 hours 20 minutes, incl. one interval

Showing At

  1. Hackney Empire
    5th Oct 2017 - 7:30 pm
  2. Hackney Empire
    7th Oct 2017 - 8:00 pm
  3. New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth
    14th Oct 2017 - 7:30 pm
  4. Norwich Theatre Royal
    17th Oct 2017 - 7:30 pm
  5. Buxton Opera House
    21st Oct 2017 - 8:00 pm
  6. Gala Theatre, Durham
    24th Oct 2017 - 7:30 pm
  7. Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden
    28th Oct 2017 - 8:00 pm
  8. Theatre Royal Bath
    31st Oct 2017 - 7:30 pm
  9. Exeter Northcott Theatre
    9th Nov 2017 - 7:30 pm
  10. Exeter Northcott Theatre
    11th Nov 2017 - 8:15 pm
  11. Theatre by the Lake, Keswick
    15th Nov 2017 - 7:30 pm
  1. Hackney Empire — 5th Oct 2017 - 7:30 pm

    291 Mare Street, Hackney, E8 1EJ

  2. Hackney Empire — 7th Oct 2017 - 8:00 pm

    291 Mare Street, Hackney, E8 1EJ

  3. New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth — 14th Oct 2017 - 7:30 pm

    20-24 Guildhall Walk, PO1 2DD

  4. Norwich Theatre Royal — 17th Oct 2017 - 7:30 pm

    Theatre Street, Norwich, NR2 1RL

  5. Buxton Opera House — 21st Oct 2017 - 8:00 pm

    Water Street, SK17 6XN

  6. Gala Theatre, Durham — 24th Oct 2017 - 7:30 pm

    1 Millennium Place, Town Centre, Durham, DH1 1WA

  7. Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden — 28th Oct 2017 - 8:00 pm

    Audley End Road, Saffron Walden , CB11 4UH

  8. Theatre Royal Bath — 31st Oct 2017 - 7:30 pm

    Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose, Bath, BA1 1ET

  9. Exeter Northcott Theatre — 9th Nov 2017 - 7:30 pm

    Exeter Northcott, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QB

  10. Exeter Northcott Theatre — 11th Nov 2017 - 8:15 pm

    Exeter Northcott, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QB

  11. Theatre by the Lake, Keswick — 15th Nov 2017 - 7:30 pm

    Lake Rd, CA12 5DJ

James Conway

James Conway

Director

As General Director of ETO for 17 years and ETO’s Artistic Director since April 2019, James Conway has directed productions of operas by Monteverdi, Handel, Mozart, Donizetti, Janácek, Puccini, Debussy, Ullmann, Britten and Tippett, as well as a world premiere by Alexander Goehr. Before coming to ETO he was General Director of Opera Theatre Company in Dublin; his productions for that company travelled to New York (Brooklyn Academy of Music), and to festivals in Melbourne, London, Buxton, Paris, Dusseldorf, Prague, Brno, Lisbon and Porto. Notable among his freelance directing is the long-running production of The Cunning Little Vixen at the Janácek Theatre, Brno.

Jonathan Peter Kenny

Jonathan Peter Kenny

Conductor

Jonathan Peter Kenny is from Liverpool. Conducting appearances include Flavio, Xerxes, Agrippina, Ottone, Iphigénie en Tauride, Giulio Cesare, Johannes-Passion, Mass in B minor, Matthäus-Passion (ETO), Cesare, Rinaldo, Radamisto, Alcina, Serse (Lucca),The Duchess of Malfi (Royal and Derngate), Stabat Mater (Dorothy Cross/OTC), Orfeo, Dido (RCM), Anxiety Fanfare (Kings Place, RFH), Memorial (London Barbican, Adelaide Festival, Brisbane Festival). He has performed with ROH, ENO, Glyndebourne, Salzburg Festival, Royal Opera Copenhagen, Teatro comunale Bologna, Glimmerglass NY, BBC Proms, AAM, OAE, EBS, RLPO, RSNO, UO, Gabrieli Consort, with Gardiner, Hickox, Fischer, Parrott, Mortensen, Bolton, and Bicket. Recordings include: Matthäus-Passion (Miller/Goodwin), Agrippina (Gardiner), Buxtehude Cantatas (Immerseel), Puccini Requiem (Fontaine). His edition of Handel’s Tamerlano has been produced in Dublin, Melbourne, Lisbon, and London.

Cordelia Chisholm

Cordelia Chisholm

Designer

Cordelia studied English Literature at Cambridge University before training on the Motley Theatre Design Course. She is an International Opera Awards nominee for best designer (2016). Designs for opera include: L’Oracolo, Mala Vita and Vanessa (Wexford Festival Opera), Agreed (Glyndebourne Opera), Rinaldo (Estonian National Opera), Traviata and The Queen of Spades (Opera Holland Park), Inés de Castro (Scottish Opera – costume design), Der Graf von Luxemburg (Landestheater Niederbayern), Otello (Opera på Skäret), Carmen (Scottish Opera), Hansel and Gretel (Opera North), La Finta Giardiniera (Den Norske Opera for Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo), The Bartered Bride (BYO), Werther (Les Azuriales Opera Festival) and many productions for The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal College of Music.

Mark Howland

Mark Howland

Lighting Designer

Mark studied, briefly, at Oxford University prior to training in Stage Lighting Design at RADA.

Previously for ETO: Dardanus, Tosca, Patience, Ulysses’ Homecoming, La Calisto, Xerxes, The Tales of Hoffmann, Werther, Pelleas et Melisande, La Boheme, The Siege of Calais, Wild Man of the West Indies.

Other designs include: La Rondine, Don Giovanni (Opera Holland Park); Twelve Angry Men (Birmingham Rep & West End); Elixir of Love, Rodelinda (Scottish Opera); Sweeney Todd (Aarhus Theatre, Denmark); Singin’ in the Rain (Det Ny Teater, Copenhagen) and numerous productions for The Gate Theatre London, The Curve, Nottingham Playhouse, Lyric Theatre Belfast amongst many others.

Cast

Christopher Ainslie

Christopher Ainslie

Giulio Cesare

Soraya Mafi

Soraya Mafi

Cleopatra

Benjamin Williamson

Benjamin Williamson

Tolomeo

Catherine Carby

Catherine Carby

Cornelia

In her native Australia, Catherine Carby has performed with the major opera companies and her wider engagements have included performances with Buxton Festival Opera, Chelsea Opera Group, ENO, Longborough Festival Opera and Scottish Opera, as well as at the Teatro Sao Carlos, Lisbon, and with orchestras including the CBSO, the OAE, the RPO and the Ulster Orchestra. Current highlights include include Penelope Il ritorno d’Ulisse for Pinchgut Opera, Annina La traviata and Siegrune Die Walküre for the Royal Opera, London, Girls’ Night Out (A Celebration of the Music of Richard Strauss) for the State Opera of South Australia and Katharina Schratt Mayerling for the Royal Ballet, London.

For ETO: Diana La Calisto, Aurelio L’Assiedo di Calais, Rodrigo Pia de’Tolomei, Cornelia Giulio Cesare, Iphigénie Iphigénie en Tauride and Rossini Fireworks!

Kitty Whately

Kitty Whately

Sesto

Kitty Whately trained at Chetham’s School of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the Royal College of Music International Opera School. She was a BBC New Generation Artist from 2013-15.

Recent opera highlights include Peep-Bo The Mikado for English National Opera, Isabella Wuthering Heights (Opera National de Lorraine, Nancy), Paquette in Bernstein’s Candide (Bergen National Opera), Sesto Giulio Cesare (English Touring Opera), Mother/Other Mother in the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Coraline at the Barbican, and Dorabella Così fan tutte for Opera Holland Park.

Benjamin Bevan

Benjamin Bevan

Achilla

English Touring Opera has assembled an outstanding cast for this prestige production, dominated by a performance from Soraya Mafi as Cleopatra that verges on the divine. Artistically, it has a worth beyond rubies.

Whatsonstage ★★★★

Without a doubt, the show’s star is Soraya Mafi, whose beguiling Cleopatra melts hearts… When Mafi is singing, we get lift off.

Telegraph

Showing At

  1. Hackney Empire
    5th Oct 2017 - 7:30 pm
  2. Hackney Empire
    7th Oct 2017 - 8:00 pm
  3. New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth
    14th Oct 2017 - 7:30 pm
  4. Norwich Theatre Royal
    17th Oct 2017 - 7:30 pm
  5. Buxton Opera House
    21st Oct 2017 - 8:00 pm
  6. Gala Theatre, Durham
    24th Oct 2017 - 7:30 pm
  7. Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden
    28th Oct 2017 - 8:00 pm
  8. Theatre Royal Bath
    31st Oct 2017 - 7:30 pm
  9. Exeter Northcott Theatre
    9th Nov 2017 - 7:30 pm
  10. Exeter Northcott Theatre
    11th Nov 2017 - 8:15 pm
  11. Theatre by the Lake, Keswick
    15th Nov 2017 - 7:30 pm

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