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  • Writer's pictureLucas Kihmm

Giulio Cesare in Egitto premieres at Teatro dell’ Opera di Roma


PHOTO BY LUCAS KIHMM

Young patrons of the arts flocked to Teatro dell’ Opera di Roma on Wednesday, Oct. 11 as the cast of the opera Giulio Cesare in Egitto premiered before opening to the general public on Friday, Oct. 13.

Originally written and premiered by George Friderich Handel in 1724, the opera follows Giulio Cesare’s (Julius Cesar) fight to control Egypt after Gnaeus Pompeius’ assassination in 48 B.C. Along the way, he falls in love with Cleopatra and competes with her brother and husband, Tolomeo, for control of the country.

The modern adaptation of Giulio Cesare involved all the main characters dressed up in business formal attire instead of ancient Roman clothing. The men were portrayed in suits and ties while the ladies wore simple but elegant dresses to match the artistic style of the opera.

PHOTO BY LUCAS KIHMM

The opera displayed themes of love and vengeance. Even though it was not his plan to fall in love, Cesare develops feelings for Cleopatra while taking revenge on the unfit ruler of Egypt, Tolomeo, for killing his friend Pompeius. Tolomeo attempts to kill Cesare for falling in love with his wife and sister, taking revenge to another level which ultimately leads to his downfall.

Teatro dell’ Opera di Roma held a special night for students and youth under the age of 26 to experience a special preview of the opera before the curtains opened to the general public on Friday.

The opera included English and Italian subtitles for international viewers, as well as a live orchestra composed of various string and brass instruments such as violins, cellos, and French horns playing beneath the stage. The circular shape of the theatre allowed viewers to get a truly captivating experience of the sound of the opera.

Caroline Wygant, a senior at Loyola University Chicago’s John Felice Rome Center (JFRC), described her invigorating experience at the opera.

“It felt exciting to experience the fine arts in a different country,” said Caroline. “I’ve been to plays and operas back home but the whole experience of going inside and watching from the box was unique and interesting.”

The theatre was filled to capacity as viewers engaged in the three hour and 45-minute opera.

Giulio Cesare opened on Oct.13 and closed on Oct. 21.

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