Magazine article Opera Canada

Guilio Cesare in Egitto: Krisztina Szabo (Cleopatra) and Roger Honeywell in the Title Role of the Canadian Opera Company's Ensemble Studio Production. (Toronto)

Magazine article Opera Canada

Guilio Cesare in Egitto: Krisztina Szabo (Cleopatra) and Roger Honeywell in the Title Role of the Canadian Opera Company's Ensemble Studio Production. (Toronto)

Article excerpt

Now that the Baroque revival has returned such pieces as Handel's Giulio Cesare in Egitto to active theatrical life, some of our more enterprising opera companies are venturing further into the vaults and discovering not only minor works by major composers but major works by their minor contemporaries. Witness Antonio Sartorio's Giullo Cesare in Egitto, composed to almost the same libretto used by Handel and premiered in Venice in 1677, 47 years earlier.

In reviving Sartorio's long-neglected opera in December as a vehicle for the young artists of the Canadian Opera Company's Ensemble Studio, the company effectively exhibited a missing link between the operas of Cavalli and Handel, showcasing music that is typically fuller than Cavalli's of sustained melodic inspiration, yet less developed in its set pieces than Handel's.

As Raymond Leppard did before them with the operas of Cavalli, conductor Gary Thor Wedow and director Tom Diamond submitted the Craig Monson Yale University edition of Sartorio's score to some heavy cuts, staging its Caesar meets Cleopatra tale in a splendid thrust-stage, arena-style space, carved by designer Phillip Silver out of the company's Tanenbaum Opera Centre. …

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