Great Performances at the Met: Giulio Cesare

Air date: 09/01/2013

David Daniels and Natalie Dessay Star as Caesar and Cleopatra In Handel’s Giulio Cesare on THIRTEEN’s Great Performances at the Met Sunday, September 1 on PBS


Harry Bicket conducts a cast that also includes Alice Coote as Sesto, Patricia Bardon as Cornelia, and Christophe Dumaux as Tolomeo


David Daniels and Natalie Dessay star in David McVicar‘s innovative production of Handel’s most popular opera in this season’s final broadcast of Great Performances at the Met Sunday, September 1 at 12 noon on PBS (check local listings). (In New York, THIRTEEN will air the opera beginning at 12:30 p.m.)

This performance is from the Met premiere of the staging, a hit at the Glyndebourne Festival in 2005, which has been praised for its clever blend of dramatic storytelling and witty touches, including extensive choreography by Andrew George.

Baroque specialist Harry Bicket leads an extraordinary cast that also includes Alice Coote in the trouser role of the Roman youth Sesto, Guido Loconsolo as the scheming Egyptian general Achilla, John Moore as the Roman general Curio, and three stars of McVicar’s original Glyndebourne production: Patricia Bardon as the Roman widow Cornelia, Sesto’s stepmother; Christophe Dumaux as Tolomeo, Cleopatra’s brother and co-ruler; and Rachid Ben Abdeslam as the Egyptian servant Nireno.

McVicar’s production premiered at Glyndebourne Festival to tremendous critical acclaim. It has been revived there three times and had its American premiere at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2007, in a production that also starred Daniels, Bardon, and Dumaux.

Soprano Renée Fleming hosts the broadcast and conducts backstage interviews with the stars.

Giulio Cesare  was originally seen live in movie theaters on April 27 as part of the groundbreaking The Met: Live in HD series, which transmits live performances to more than 1900 movie theaters and performing arts centers in 64 countries around the world.

Great Performances at the Met is a presentation of THIRTEEN for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. Throughout its 40 year history on public television, Great Performances has provided viewers across the country with an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming.  Now in its fifth decade, the series has been the home to the greatest artists in the areas of drama, dance, musical theater, classical and popular music, providing many with their very first television exposure.

Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home builder®. Additional funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.  This Great Performances presentation is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, The Agnes Varis Trust, and public television viewers.

For the Met, Gary Halvorson directs the telecast. Jay David Saks is Music Producer, Mia Bongiovanni and Elena Park are Supervising Producers, and Louisa Briccetti and Victoria Warivonchik are Producers. Peter Gelb is Executive Producer.  For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is Series Producer; David Horn is Executive Producer.

Visit Great Performances online at for additional information on this and other Great Performances programs.


About WNET
In 2013, WNET is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THIRTEEN, New York’s flagship public media provider. As the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Need to Know, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJ Today and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore iPad App where users can stream PBS content for free.


About the Met

Under the leadership of General Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director James Levine, the Met has a series of bold initiatives underway that are designed to broaden its audience and revitalize the company’s repertory. The Met’s 2013-14 season features six new productions, including Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, conducted by Valery Gergiev and directed by Deborah Warner in her Met debut; the U.S. premiere of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys, conducted by David Robertson and directed by Bartlett Sher; Verdi’s Falstaff, conducted by Levine and directed by Robert Carsen; Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, conducted by Adam Fischer and directed by Jeremy Sams; Borodin’s Prince Igor, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda and directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov in his Met debut; and Massenet’s Werther, conducted by Alain Altinoglu and directed by Richard Eyre.


Building on its 82-year-old radio broadcast history—heard over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network—the Met uses advanced media distribution platforms and state-of-the-art technology to reach audiences around the world. The Met: Live in HD, the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series of live performance transmissions to movie theaters around the world, returns for its eighth season in 2013-14 with ten live transmissions. Met Opera on Demand, a subscription service, makes selections from the company’s extensive video and audio catalog of full-length performances available to the public online in exceptional, state-of-the-art quality. Metropolitan Opera Radio on Sirius XM broadcasts live performances from the Met stage three times a week during the opera season and the Met offers free live audio streaming of performances on its website once a week during the opera season.






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