Opéra de Monte-Carlo’s Cecilia Bartoli to star as Cleopatra in ‘Giulio Cesare in Egitto’

Part love affair and part political alliance, the story of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra is one that has intrigued and fascinated generation after generation for more than 2,000 years. It was transformed into a dramma per musica by George Frideric Handel in the 18th century, and now is coming to Monaco for four performances at the end of January.  

First performed on a London stage in 1724, at the King’s Theatre of Haymarket, Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto was a popular opera for the next decade, but fell out of favour somewhat until it was rediscovered by the avid opera community in the 1970s.

A star-studded cast and team

Now Davide Livermore has taken the tale on, reimagining it for a Monaco audience with the support of conductor Gianluca Capuano and the Opéra de Monte-Carlo’s very own director, Cecilia Bartoli, who is set to hold one of the lead roles as Cleopatra. Countertenor Carlo Vistoli will star as Julius Caesar. 

See more: Interview: Cecilia Bartoli on taking the Opéra de Monte-Carlo to new heights

“My point of reference is always the score, and only the score, so the first thing I do is study the music,” says Livermore of the new production. “My job is to understand the intentions of the composer and librettist, and then translate it into a form that speaks to a modern audience. An artist always communicates with the people around him… so if Handel or Verdi presented things to their own audience, I have to find a way of telling mine what they had imparted to theirs and why.” 

The three-act opera depicts the treacherously romantic relationship between Caesar and the notorious Egyptian queen, and takes place during the Roman Civil War of 49BCE and 45BCE. 

It follows a young Cleopatra on her quest to depose her brother to become Queen of Egypt, and Caesar’s part in helping her get there.  

Giulio Cesare in Egitto will be performed on 24th, 26th, 28th and 30th January. A gala night will coincide with the opening performance.  

For reservations and more information, click here


Join the Monaco Life community – the largest English media in the Principality.   

Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Tik Tok. 


Photo source: Stephanie Klepacki, Unsplash