The School of Music and School of Theatre and Entertainment Arts (TEA) are staging Giulio Cesare, a classical opera by Handel, in March. Thanks to the generous support of Dr. Helmut Sohmen and Dr. Peter Thompson, the Academy has invited guest conductor Nicholas Kraemer and Director Harry Fehr to participate in this production.
Based on historical events during the Roman civil war in Egypt, the opera tells the story of how Giulio Cesare (Julius Caesar) tries to bring peace to the turbulent relationship between the Egyptian and Roman empires, but is prevented from doing so by Tolomeo, king of Egypt. On the day after Giulio Cesare's victory over his rival Pompey, Cesare receives a visit from Cornelia, who begs him to spare her husband Pompey's life. Cesare's hopes of embracing his enemy are dashed when Tolomeo has Pompey's head delivered to Cesare as a gift. Sesto, Cornelia's son, swears to avenge his dead father. Disguised as Lydia, Tolomeo's sister Cleopatra attempts to seduce Cesare to win his support to become queen in place of the increasingly tyrannical Tolomeo. Her army is defeated by Tolomeo's men, but she is rescued by Cesare and falls into his arms. Tolomeo prepares to lead his troops but refuses Achilla (the loyal commander of his armies) the promised reward for defeating Cesare; Cornelia is to be his own prize. With so many people opposed to Tolomeo, a furious Achilla decides to switch his allegiance to Cleopatra. Meanwhile, Sesto has killed his enemy Tolomeo and avenged his father. The battle has been won. Sesto and Cornelia pledge their loyalty to Cesare and Cleopatra. Cesare crowns Cleopatra as sole Queen of Egypt. The lovers sing and all welcome the arrival of peace.
Composer: George Frideric Handel
Conductor: Nicholas Kraemer
Libretto: Nicola Francesco Haym
Set Designer: Jonathan Wong
Associate Set Designer: Lam Hoi-kiu
Costume Designer: Ingrid Proos
Associate Costume Designer: Lai Wing-ki
Lighting Designer: Zoe Cheung So-yi
Production Manager: Olympia Hui
Cesare｜Rambo So Ki-hin
Curio｜Winston Chan Tsz-wai
Cornelia｜* Anna Chan Pui-shan, ^ Leung Hei-na
Sesto｜* Freddie Tsang Yuk-ki, ^ John Ho Chun-yin
Cleopatra｜* Anna Zhang Jingdan, ^ Rosanna Ip Hio-lam
Tolomeo｜Samuel Yip Hei
Achilles｜Aaron Kwan Cheuk-shing
Nireno｜Anny Liao Aner
* 28th March & 31st March, 2023
^ 29th March & 1st April, 2023
# Helmut Sohmen and Peter Thompson have generously agreed to support the involvement of Conductor Nicholas Kraemer and Director Harry Fehr in the opera production.