28 ‑ 29 Mar 2023 (everyday),
31 Mar ‑ 1 Apr 2023 (everyday) 7:30 ‑ 9:30pm (2 hours)
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HKAPA Presents Academy Opera: "Giulio Cesare"

The School of Music of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, in collaboration with the School of Theatre and Entertainment Arts, will present the classic opera by Handel, "Giulio Cesare", at the Academy Rita Tong Liu Drama Theatre on March 28, 29, 31 and April 1. Based on historical events during the Roman civil war in Egypt, this classic opera tells the story of Julius Caesar's love affair with Cleopatra and how they try to bring peace to the turbulent relationship between the Egyptian and Roman empires. The Academy has invited guest conductor Nicholas Kraemer and director Harry Fehr to participate in the production, which is also their debut in Hong Kong. Dr. Helmut Sohmen and Dr. Peter Thompson have generously agreed to support this production.

Mr. Harry Fehr, Director of "Giulio Cesare", is impressed by this famous opera, saying, "'Giulio Cesare' is one of the greatest works by one of the greatest composers of the 18th Century. It beautifully balances the playful story of Julius Caesar's love affair with Cleopatra with the darker tale of Cornelia and Sesto's angry desire for revenge. With sparkling, virtuosic arias, it will perfectly showcase the skills of the Academy students."

Professor Nancy Yuen, Head of Vocal Studies of the School of Music, is greatly looking forward to this performance, "Power and passion will take centre stage at the Academy in March with the long-awaited opera production of Handel's "Giulio Cesare", a multi-disciplinary presentation by the School of Music and the School of Theatre and Entertainment Arts. Making their debut in Hong Kong will be conductor Nicholas Kraemer and director Harry Fehr. Tight drama and intense music performed by our super talented students will be guaranteed."

  • Sung in Italian with English and Chinese surtitles
  • Suitable for audience aged 6 or above

Based on historical events during the Roman civil war in Egypt, the opera tells the story of how Giulio Cesare (Julius Caesar) tries to bring peace to the turbulent relationship between the Egyptian and Roman empires, but is prevented from doing so by Tolomeo, king of Egypt. On the day after Giulio Cesare's victory over his rival Pompey, Cesare receives a visit from Cornelia, who begs him to spare her husband Pompey's life. Cesare's hopes of embracing his enemy are dashed when Tolomeo has Pompey's head delivered to Cesare as a gift. Sesto, Cornelia's son, swears to avenge his dead father. Disguised as Lydia, Tolomeo's sister Cleopatra attempts to seduce Cesare to win his support to become queen in place of the increasingly tyrannical Tolomeo. Her army is defeated by Tolomeo's men, but she is rescued by Cesare and falls into his arms. Tolomeo prepares to lead his troops but refuses Achilla (the loyal commander of his armies) the promised reward for defeating Cesare; Cornelia is to be his own prize. With so many people opposed to Tolomeo, a furious Achilla decides to switch his allegiance to Cleopatra. Meanwhile, Sesto has killed his enemy Tolomeo and avenged his father. The battle has been won. Sesto and Cornelia pledge their loyalty to Cesare and Cleopatra. Cesare crowns Cleopatra as sole Queen of Egypt. The lovers sing and all welcome the arrival of peace.

Composer: George Frideric Handel
Librettist: Nicola Francesco Haym
Conductor: Nicholas Kraemer
Director: Harry Fehr
Set Designer: Jonathan Wong
Associate Set Designer: Lam Hoi-kiu
Costume Designer: Ingrid Proos
Associate Costume Designer: Lai Wing-ki
Lighting Designer: Zoe Cheung So-yi
Production Manager: Olympia Hui

Cast: So Ki-hin, Winston Chan Tsz-wai, *Anna Chan Pui-shan, ^Leung Hei-na, *Freddie Tsang Yuk-ki, ^John Ho Chun-yin, *Anna Zhang Jingdan, ^Rosanna Ip Hio-lam, Samuel Yip Hei, Aaron Kwan Cheuk-shing, Anny Liao Aner

* 28th March & 31st March, 2023
^ 29th March & 1st April, 2023
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