Giulio Cesare is one of Handel’s most fascinating and exquisite works. It was brought to Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu under the direction of Herbert Wernicke, who produced a new adaptation including fragments of other Handel operas such as Rinaldo, Orlando and Tolomeo. This freely-interpreted and updated version does not seek to set the opera in a contemporary context but rather to reveal hidden aspects of the work: its psychology, its history and politics.
The orchestra is conducted by Michael Hofstetter and the title role is sung by the Italian-Spanish countertenor Flavio Oliver, who is one of the leading male sopranos in the world today. Singing opposite him in the role of Cornelia, Polish contralto Ewa Podlés explores the wide range of her warm, agile voice. Soprano Elena de la Merced and mezzo-soprano Maite Beaumont complete the cast. Both are excellent Spanish singers well known on the international scene. Herbert Wernicke uses this concept to create a transverse encounter between different historical and artistic elements. His production merely transfers to the stage an idea, which Handel himself had shown in Giulio Cesare: disorder as a factor of emotional and cultural wealth.