• Giulio Cesare Educator Guide

What to Expect from Giulio Cesare?

The world premiere of Giulio Cesare was a blockbuster, running for 13 performances. That was in London in 1724, when a new work mounted half a dozen times was considered a hit. George Frideric Handel had produced something extraordinary and unusual for its time: an opera with a plot based on history (albeit fictionalized), not mythology. Giulio Cesare tells the love story of Caesar and Cleopatra, two of the ancient world’s most famous characters, and its original production featured some of the greatest stars of the day, singing unprecedentedly luscious music. It was terrific entertainment.

  • Classroom Activity

    A full-length activity, designed to support your ongoing curriculum.

  • Musical Highlights

    Three "Musical Highlights" designed to focus on bits of music from Giulio Cesare to cultivate familiarity with the work.

  • Performance Activities

    Performance Activities for students to enjoy during the Metropolitan Opera HD transmission.

  • Post-Show Discussion

    A post-transmission activity, integrating the Live in HD experience into students' wider views of the performing arts and humanities.

Giulio Cesare at the Met

The Metropolitan Opera’s new production follows in that tradition. “Giulio Cesare is a kaleidoscope of an opera—a semi-comic, semi-tragic adventure story,” says director David McVicar. “You get romance, you get drama, you get moments of political wheeling-and-dealing, complex family relationships—as well as real emotion and tragedy.” McVicar’s staging, which originally premiered to popular and critical acclaim at England’s Glyndebourne Festival in 2005, incorporates elements of Baroque theater, British imperialism, and Bollywood-inspired dance moves. David Daniels, today’s leading countertenor,and soprano Natalie Dessay, one of opera’s greatest singing actresses, play the lead roles, with Baroque specialist Harry Bicket conducting.