Giulio CesareGiulio Cesare is an Italian opera by George Frideric Handel. The libretto was written by Nicola Frecesco Haym. It was first performed in London on February 20, 1724.
Like Handel's other Italian operas, Giulio Cesare was forgotten for nearly two hundred and fifty years, but was revived in the 1960s. The work is considered by many to be Handel's finest Italian opera, possibly even the best in the history of opera seria. It stands out for its superb vocal writing, its dramatic impact, and its deft orchestral arrangements.
The title role and the roles of Sextus and Ptolemy were written for castrati. In modern productions, Guilio is either transposed for baritone or sung by a contralto or, more frequently in recent years, a countertenor. Sextus and Ptolemy are sung by mezzo-sopranos.
Giulio Cesare has recently joined the standard operatic repertoire. There are a several recordings of it, and it is regularly performed.
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