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Giulio Cesare - Handel (Glyndebourne Festival) [DVD] [2006]

William Christie , Sarah Connolly , David McVicar    Exempt   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
Price: £25.27 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Giulio Cesare - Handel (Glyndebourne Festival) [DVD] [2006] + Handel: Serse  [DVD] [2005] [2011]
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Product details

  • Actors: William Christie, Sarah Connolly, Angelika Kirchschlager, Danielle De Niese, Christophe Dumaux
  • Directors: David McVicar
  • Format: Anamorphic, Box set, Classical, Colour, DTS Surround Sound, DVD-Video, PAL, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, German, French, Italian
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Opus Arte
  • DVD Release Date: 3 April 2006
  • Run Time: 295 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ESST6U
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,718 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

David McVicar's production of Giulio Cesare manages to combine serious insight with entertainment, bringing Handel's masterpiece to life. The outstanding singing of the all-star cast, led by Sarah Connolly, and the vivid playing of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under the baton of William Christie reveal the colour and dramatic character of Handel's music.

Product Description

OA 0950 (3dvd); OPUS ARTE - BBC - Inghilterra; Classica Lirica

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Belcantoboy 10 Aug 2006
If you only buy 1 opera on DVD this year (or even this decade) this is the one to buy. I have watched this so many times already with, of course, repeats of some particular favourite arias.

This is a recording of probably the best production of any opera you will ever see. I have been going to the opera live for more years than I care to remember and have more recordings that I can store. Yes, I saw this live (on one of the 2 dates it was recorded last year for this DVD). I even had to give up my booked seats for the camera and camera man!

This was a triumph at last years BBC proms as well as at Glyndebourne. Try reading the reviews given in the papers in 2005. No wonder it is a sell out with the slightly different cast at Glyndebourne this year. Again rave reviews in papers.

The staging is just a joy from beginning to end. It is impossible to single out any of the soloists as being better than the others. Each in their different way brings something special to this opera and makes an important contribution to the whole. The orchestra are renown for their playing and make a major contribution to a very special recording.

If this recording seems expensive remember that it is a 3 DVD set and is a lot cheaper that going to Glyndebourne. Ideally you should go AND buy the DVD. I was exceptionally lucky and did just that.

If you have never seen and opera or never seen a Handel opera staged, then this will be an eye opener. You will then understand why people are prepared to spend £160 a seat to see opera at Glyndebourne and the house is sold out.

"Of all the noises known to man, opera is the most expensive."

- Molière (1645)
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62 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superlative 9 Jun 2006
I was fortunate enough to see the second performance at Glyndebourne last year. I will never forget the performance, nor the date: 7th July 2005 ... the day of the London Bombings.

Aside from my personal feelings about the outrage, there were two consequences for the performance. Firstly, at least 10% of the seats were empty - something almost unheard of - because so many of those coming down from London were unable to travel. Secondly, in response, everybody involved gave more than 100%, to put on an astonishing performance.

I have recently bought 5 copies of the DVD All but one will be given to friends and relations around the world. But I have already played my own copy several times.

I can only agree with the two rave reviews already written. But these were really about the live performances they saw rather than the DVDs. These are filmed at HD quality, over - I think - the last two performances. And it was clear to me that the production had developed beyond what I saw.

Also there is a large amount of additional features included.
These range from a very helpful visual synopsis of the plot, and a number of photos, to a couple of enthralling interviews. The first is with Danielle de Niese - the young American singer playing Cleopatra, who deservedly stole the show - and her substantial and highly entertaining account of the Glyndebourne experience and what it meant for her. The second, longer and, for the opera lover, even more fascinating, is a discussion with the major participants, including Conductor William Christie and Stage Director David McVicar.

I do not believe that a better opera DVD at present exists.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I sympathize with almost everything (for and against) which has been written about this production. I have to say that personally I enjoyed it, though I can see why many would not. On the strength of this dvd, I bought a cd of Danielle de Niese singing Handel and found it very disappointing - I think because she is such a visual artist. Her antics in this Giulio Cesare certainly make some scenes go with a swing, and I find it difficult to believe that Mr Haendel, Gent, would deep in his heart have found much to disapprove of. Some of the singing is truly excellent, especially that of Patricia Bardon as Cornelia (who sounds, to my ears, like a real old-fashioned contralto, though I know she prefers to be styled a 'Mezzo')and Christophe Dumaux as Ptolemy. There is much in the way of acrobatics from the men (including a backward somersault from Christopher Maltman) - stuff you either like or dislike. William Christie conducts the whole thing with enormous gusto and idiom (we expect no less from him). So, apart from a few bits of real OTT, I loved it - though I did feel sometimes as if I was watching "The Gondoliers"! Much of the backdrop is anachronistic, featuring Zeppelin airships, HMS Hood type battleships, WWII cruisers, then the "Titanic" or something which looks very much like her. At the end there is a lot of mouth to mouth kissing by everybody of everybody, but this degree of self-congratulation was what I think the audience was encouraging with their considerable and (for Glyndebourne) slightly indecorous ovation.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impossible to beat? 20 Oct 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The only bad thing I can say about this DVD is that it sets an impossibly high standard for Danielle de Niese -- the undoubted star of the show -- to beat. Everything else she does may seem like an anti-climax after this. Let's hope not.

I was not able to see the production at Glyndebourne, but saw it (semi-staged) at the Royal Albert Hall. de Niese's voice filled that vast space and had every member of the audience spell-bound. Of course she has the voice of an angel -- you can hear that yourself from the CD recordings -- but this DVD gives you some idea of her stage-presence, charisma, and acting ability. In the final duet at the Albert Hall, the way she looked adoringly into the eyes of Caesar, you could honestly believe that she was in love with him (despite the fact that he was being sung by a woman!)

Some readers may imagine that male listeners have simply fallen for her physical charms, and no-one would deny that she is very easy on the eyes, but when I was queueing for the Albert Hall I met an elderly female friend who had seen the production a few weeks before at Glyndeboune, and was bringing another female friend to hear it again. So this is not just 'one for the boys'. And just to prove that I am not blinded by an infatuation, I may add that I heard her some months later in St John's, Smith Square, London, and she sounded pretty awful: her voice is much to big for that small space. I also do not really like her French recording of Semele, recorded some years earlier, but she seems to be getting better as the years pass ...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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Published 3 months ago by Pilar
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly entertaining for viewers prepared to be flexible but maybe not...
This production of Handel's Giulio Cesare was recorded at Glyndebourne in 2005 and delivers a sparkling production by David McVicar and `authentic' styled performances from the... Read more
Published 17 months ago by I. Giles
4.0 out of 5 stars Staging Found Wanting
I am amongst the ranks of the disaffected, don't get me wrong, the quality of the singers is beyond question. Read more
Published 17 months ago by I. Zaneres
5.0 out of 5 stars Upgrading to BD
I upgraded from the DVD to the blu ray version. I have always been disappointed with the rather soft picture quality of the DVD.

As expected the BD took care of that. Read more
Published 22 months ago by bayz
5.0 out of 5 stars The best introduction to Handel opera
It seems almost unreasonable that when genuinely great opera DVDs are so rare, there are two exceptional recordings of this same Handel piece. Read more
Published on 7 Nov 2011 by Simon F
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars.
I'll keep it short as others have said what needs to be said. I have seen many operas both live and on video over the years. Read more
Published on 22 May 2011 by J. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly magnificent production !
I loved this production - McVicar just gets better and better. Christie in the pit commanded his forces wonderfully and offered great support to the singers. Read more
Published on 13 Nov 2010 by Sir Petey
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT VERSION
Giulio Cesare is one of the greatest works in the history of music. This version is absolutely delightfull from start to end, musically and visually. Read more
Published on 18 Dec 2009 by Fernando Gomollon Garcia
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful- get rid of the producer
It starts with 16 century ships arriving and Boer War soldiers disembarking in red uniforms complete with rifles bayonets and automatic pistols. Read more
Published on 24 Oct 2009 by Arthur Wyatt
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