David Daniels and Natalie Dessay star in David McVicar‘s innovative production of Handel’s most popular opera in this season’s final broadcast of Great Performances at the Met Sunday, September 1 at 12 noon on PBS (check local listings). (In New York, THIRTEEN will air the operabeginning at 12:30 p.m.)
Watch the preview:
This performance is from the Met premiere of the staging, a hit at the Glyndebourne Festival in 2005, which has been praised for its clever blend of dramatic storytelling and witty touches, including extensive choreography by Andrew George.
Baroque specialist Harry Bicket leads an extraordinary cast that also includes Alice Coote in the trouser role of the Roman youth Sesto, Guido Loconsolo as the scheming Egyptian general Achilla, John Moore as the Roman general Curio, and three stars of McVicar’s original Glyndebourne production: Patricia Bardon as the Roman widow Cornelia, Sesto’s stepmother;Christophe Dumaux as Tolomeo, Cleopatra’s brother and co-ruler; and Rachid Ben Abdeslamas the Egyptian servant Nireno.
McVicar’s production premiered at Glyndebourne Festival to tremendous critical acclaim. It has been revived there three times and had its American premiere at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2007, in a production that also starred Daniels, Bardon, and Dumaux.
Soprano Renée Fleming hosts the broadcast and conducts backstage interviews with the stars.
Giulio Cesare was originally seen live in movie theaters on April 27 as part of the groundbreakingThe Met: Live in HD series, which transmits live performances to more than 1900 movie theaters and performing arts centers in 64 countries around the world.
Great Performances at the Met is a presentation of THIRTEEN for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. Throughout its 40 year history on public television,Great Performances has provided viewers across the country with an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. Now in its fifth decade, the series has been the home to the greatest artists in the areas of drama, dance, musical theater, classical and popular music, providing many with their very first television exposure.
Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®. Additional funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. ThisGreat Performances presentation is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, The Agnes Varis Trust, and public television viewers.
For the Met, Gary Halvorson directs the telecast. Jay David Saks is Music Producer, Mia Bongiovanni and Elena Park are Supervising Producers, and Louisa Briccetti and Victoria Warivonchik are Producers. Peter Gelb is Executive Producer. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is Series Producer; David Horn is Executive Producer.