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Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar

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Published by Jamie Hall

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Published by: Jamie Hall on Apr 22, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/06/2013

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Giulio Cesare
Opera seria
(Giulio Cesare in Egitto — Julius Caesar)
 
 Handel 
The one where Pompey’s widow is sent to gather owers in the garden of a harem, where
Cleopatra is imprisoned by her brother and Caesar takes a dip in a harbour.CASTRomans:
Caesar (Guilio Cesare)
, First Emperor of Rome Alto (castrato)
Curius (Curio)
, his steward and a Roman TribuneBass
Cornelia
, Pompey’s wifeContralto
Sextus
, Pompey’s sonSopranoEgyptians:
Cleopatra
, Queen of EgyptSoprano
Ptolemy (Tolomeo)
, King of Egypt Alto (castrato)
 Achillas (Achilla)
, an Egyptian courtierBass
Nirenus (Nireno)
, an Egyptian courtier Alto (castrato)Roman soldiers, Egyptians3 acts: running time 3 hrs 45 mins
STORY Act I Sc 1 Egypt. A bridge over a branch of the Nile near Alexandria
 We are in the Nile Delta in September 48 BC and Julius Caesar is chasing his old rival Pompey and getting a big Hello from the Egyptians. Pompey’s wife Cornelia and son Sextus jump outand say our man is ready to call it quits. Good show says Caesar I am ready for a bit of paxmyself. And what’s under the dishcover those Gyppos are carting in? A sight to gladden yourheart sir Emperor says the Egyptian General Achillas it’s Pompey’s head (whips off the cover). A present from Ptolemy. Cornelia faints. How disgusting says Caesar and against the GenevaConvention too. Please inform your king I won’t tolerate this.Cornelia comes to and tries to commit suicide. Stop that says Curius and why not marry meinstead? Faugh! says Cornelia: one of Caesar’s men? No thank you. O dash it says Curius. Exits.
 We’re in a nasty x Mum says Sextus: in the middle of Caesar’s army and Dad decapitated. You
must avenge him son says Cornelia.
 
241
Giulio Cesare
 Act I Sc 2 A room in Cleopatra’s palace
Bad news Ma’m says Nirenus your brother Ptolemy topped Pompey and sent his head to Caesartrying to suck up to him. I’ll go to Caesar and see if my sexiness doesn’t work better thansending dead heads says Cleopatra: I’ll get even with that scheming rat my brother. I’ll get to be the one and only monarch you wait and see. Oh yes says Ptolemy stepping out from behind
a screen. Indeed. You get back to rafa work and leave the ruling bit to me. And you get back 
into your massage parlours and leave it to me says she. Exits. So how did Caesar like my little
 joke? asks Ptolemy. A frost says Achillas. A op. He didn’t like it at all. Listen. Why don’t you
murder him too? I’ll do it in exchange for guaranteed sex with Pompey’s widow Cornelia. OK not a bad idea says Ptolemy. Is Cornelia really as sexy as all that?
 Act I Sc 3 Caesar’s camp. The ashes of Pompey’s head in an urn
Caesar is brooding over Pompey’s minimal remains when Cleopatra arrives with Nirenusdisguised calling herself Lydia. Whew! what a stunner thinks Caesar, Pompey forgotten. Whew! thinks Curius: if I can’t get Cornelia then this one will do pretty well. A favour please sirEmperor she says. Lovely hair says Caesar. Nice boobs says Curius coarsely. Sure I’ll help youlady says Caesar but I’m busy just now. Exits. He’s got hot pants for you Cleo says Nirenus you
got him xed.
Enter Cornelia and Sextus. Cleopatra and Nirenus duck behind a screen. We can pick up a
sword here to kill Ptolemy they say but how can we nd him? I’ll help you says Cleopatra I’m
Lydia and I work at his place. He’s been a dirty dog to me and I shall be very happy to see himmurdered — Nirenus: kindly show these persons to the palace.
 Act I Sc 4 An antechamber in Ptolemy’s palace
Ptolemy and Caesar meet. Hail Caesar you’re doing pretty good says Ptolemy. Not doing so badly yourself says Caesar but that Pompey’s head was a nasty trick. Thanks a lot says Ptolemy these guys will see you into another room. Does he think I’m stoopid thinks Caesar. Exits withhis own posse. Enter Cornelia and Sextus. You cut off my Dad’s head you weasel you I challenge you to a duel shouts the silly Sextus. Lock him up lads says Ptolemy and put the woman on tocleaning the harem loos. Exits. The frightful Achillas says to Cornelia if you will give me a nicetime I’ll let you both escape. Faugh! says Cornelia. Goodbye Sextus I’m off to the loos.
 Act II Sc 1 A grove of cedars with Mount Parnassus in the distance
Caesar coming? Cleopatra asks Nirenus. Yes says he. All stage effects ready and working? Yessays he. OK says she after the pantomime take him to my apartment and say Lydia is comingto see him with some big news. Exits. Caesar arrives sweating (Parnassus a long hike from Alexandria). Where’s that girl? he asks. Coming shortly says Nirenus. A heavenly orchestraplays. The clouds open revealing Cleopatra sitting on a throne dressed as Queen Victoria.My God what a beauty shouts Caesar: she looks like Lydia. He starts clambering up MountParnassus. The vision vanishes. Like to go to Lydia’s place Caesar? says Nirenus nudge nudge. You bet says Caesar.
 
242
 Te Good Opera Guide
 Act II Sc 2 The garden of the harem
God how I hate this job says Cornelia. You only have to say the word says lecherous Achillasand I’ll let you go free. Faugh! says Cornelia and runs for it but Ptolemy interposes. Lemmego shrieks Cornelia. Did you make it with her Achillas old boy? asks Ptolemy. No but I’ve got
everything xed for Caesar’s exit says Achillas behind his hand to Ptolemy and exits. If you
don’t fancy Achillas says Ptolemy to Cornelia how about me? I’m a king. And I’m a Roman woman says Cornelia, faugh! and exits. Pity she won’t go quietly. I shall have to rape her whata nuisance says Ptolemy. Exits.Cornelia re-enters. Am I fed up with these sex-mad Egyptians she says I think I’ll end it all.She prepares to jump into a conveniently adjacent cageful of lions. Stop stop shouts Sextusrunning on: I’ve come to rescue you Mummy. Enter Nirenus. Ptolemy wants you in his bedroomline-up with the other girls on duty tonight says he but don’t worry we’ll all three go along thereand wait until Ptolemy has his trousers down then Sextus here can stab him to death and nosweat. Good idea says Cornelia. I’ll make a good stab at it says Sextus.
 Act II Sc 3 Cleopatra’s garden
I guess I’ll pretend to be asleep when Caesar comes says Cleopatra. He comes. There’s Lydiaasleep he says: I’d like her to be my wife one day. Accepted says Cleopatra promptly waking up.Thanks. Steady: Cleopatra might not like it says Caesar. Curius runs in: you’ve been betrayedagain Caesar Ptolemy’s on your trail. Don’t go Caesar says Cleopatra. By the way I am not LydiaI’m Cleopatra. Gracious me says Caesar. I’ll see off any traitors that come after you she saysstrolling to the wings. I’m Queen you know. Oh no! My God! There are millions of Ptolemy’smen. Run Caesar! Run! I’ll stand my ground says Caesar and runs off. Sounds of mayhem. Ihope he’s OK says Cleopatra.
 Act II Sc 4 A room in the harem
Ptolemy is lining up the girls for the night shift including Cornelia. You’ve drawn the shortstraw Cornelia he says: you open the batting. No she don’t! shouts Sextus jumping in. But Achillas jumps on Sextus and takes his sword. I got news for you boss he says: Caesar gaveus the slip but he jumped off the pier and drowned. Also Curius. Cleopatra’s now musteringCaesar’s troops to march against us. Now can I have a nice time with Cornelia please? No youcan’t you randy dog says Ptolemy. I’m off to defeat Cleopatra. Will be back shortly. Well I madea fair bugger of that says Sextus, I think I’ll kill myself. No don’t says Cornelia: follow afterPtolemy and strike him down. Go on. All right I bloody well will says Sextus.
 Act III Sc 1 A harbour near Alexandria
 Achillas comes on with men at his back. I’m on Cleopatra’s side now and we’ll x that bastard
Ptolemy well and good he says. Exits. A musical battle rages offstage. Enter Ptolemy. I’ve won
he says: those rst violins did a splendid job and you’re my prisoner now young Cleopatra so
there. Things sure are pretty bad says Cleopatra, Caesar dead, me a prisoner, Cornelia and
Sextus a busted ush, but even when I am dead I’ll still go after that terrible Ptolemy and haunt
the wits out of him. Exits under armed guard.

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