During this concert, Andrea Marcon will receive the City of Halle Handel Prize, which is awarded by the Handel House Foundation. This prize is an honorary award with no monetary value.
Of George Frideric Handel’s numerous operas, Giulio Cesare in Egitto has to be one of the most popular. This popularity could be due not least to the subject of the work: Julius Caesar’s arrival in Egypt in 48BC and his resulting legendary liaison with the beautiful and mysterious Cleopatra is one of the best-known stories of antiquity. Handel too set this tale of intrigue involving love, revenge, power, eroticism and politics to music. The version to be performed is not the well-known version of the premiere, but the London revival of 1725, its first performance since Handel’s time.
What is special about this version is primarily that the role of Cornelia’s son Sesto is no longer sung by a soprano, but by a tenor. Handel wrote the role for Francesco Borosini, a famous Italian singer, with whom he was fond of working during this period. Besides a few further changes, he composed three new virtuoso arias for the tenor, which are very rarely heard today. The artists are of world stature: La Cetra Barockorchester Basel conducted by Andrea Marcon, who have already given several outstanding and acclaimed performances in Halle, and an internationally renowned cast of singers led by soprano Emöke Baráth and countertenor Carlo Vistoli promise an impressive performance of this seldom-heard opera.