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HANDEL: Giulio Cesare - Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, William Christie (3 DVDs)

HANDEL: Giulio Cesare - Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, William Christie (3 DVDs)


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Sarah Connolly (Cesare), Danielle de Niese (Cleopatra), Angelika Kirchschlager (Sesto), Christophe Dumaux (Tolomeo), Patricia Bardon (Cornelia), Christopher Maltman (Achilla)

The Glyndebourne Chorus & Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, William Christie (conductor) & David McVicar (stage director)

David McVicar's production of Giulio Cesare manages to combine serious insight with entertainment, bringing Handel's masterpiece to life in a powerful, convincing and highly intelligent way. In every line of the complex narrative the subtle nuances are apparent, reflecting perfectly the transparent and exquisite nature of Handel's musical expression.

Filmed in High Definition and recorded in true surround sound, the outstanding singing of the all-star cast, led by a superb Sarah Connolly, and the vivid playing of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under the energising baton of William Christie reveal the colour and dramatic character of Handel's music in a most delightful manner.

Number of Discs:

DTS Surround; LPCM Stereo


Aspect Ratio:
16:9 Anamorphic

"...a lively and imaginative production, directed by the ever resourceful David McVicar, enchanted and amused..there was so much good acting, often whilst singing difficult and controlled coloratura." (Musical Opinion)

"Christie conducts Handel beguilingly - in fact, I’d go so far as to suggest that nobody does Handel better. Christie drew brisk playing from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, crisp and punchy, yet he also carried the slow tempos with magical stillness. But the performance was about much more than sound alone: underneath the OAE’s sheen there was an internalized musical depth to each of the numbers." (Opera)

"Extravagantly laid out on three DVDs, the Opus Arte version is important in offering a fine period performance of this most popular of the Handel operas. William Christie conducts the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and an outstanding cast in an account at once scholarly, lively and refreshing, a live recording of the 2005 production at Glyndebourne." (The Penguin Guide)

"...the irrepressible Danielle de Niese (who is accorded a delightful 22-minute narrative on her Glyndebourne experience among the extras here). Her vocal command and stage presence are spectacular in every sense...…a runaway success at Glyndebourne is turned into a great DVD...David McVicar's 2005 staging… was adored by the Glyndebourne public. Chief cause of their delight was the overtly sexual, high-hoofing performance of Cleopatra by the irrepressible Danielle de Niese... Her vocal command and stage presence are spectacular in every sense, and from her first aria she utterly seduces her audience. McVicar took... William Christie... manages to balance with the same finesse and care the light and serious parts of the score... Sarah Connolly's thoroughly believable Caesar is sung with her firm tone and well schooled mastery of Handelian style, including subtle embellishments. Some of the most accomplished and tender Handelian singing comes from Patricia Bardon's moving Cornelia and Angelika Kirchschlager's concerned Sesto... The young countertenor Christophe Dumaux playing Tolomeo is suitably brat-like and spoilt. He, like most of the cast, fulfils all the stringent demands of this very physical staging. Christopher Maltman makes Achilles as nasty as he should be. The sense of teamwork all round is confirmed in the interviews included in the extras. Robin Lough's DVD direction is faultless." (Gramophone)

Extra features
'Entertainment is not a Dirty Word' - documentary about the opera including interviews with William Christie, David McVicar andthe cast.'Danielle de Niese and the Glyndebourne experience' - an informal portrait of Danielle de Niese in her first-ever Glyndebourne season.

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