La morte di Cesare

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La morte di Cesare (The Death of Caesar) is an opera seria in three acts by Francesco Bianchi. The libretto was by Gaetano Sertor, after Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar.

La morte di Cesare was one of six texts that Sertor wrote for Bianchi, influencing a popular series of Venetian 'morte' operas in the 1790s. While the murder itself was not shown on the stage, the audience were left with the body of Caesar conspicuously in view during the closing scenes.

As with other Bianchi operas, there were innovations: the chorus participated actively in the drama, there was a ballet and a pantomime, a duet for two men, and a final oath scene (giuramento), besides the basically unconventional tragic ending. [1]

Performance history[edit]

The opera was first performed at the Teatro San Samuele in Venice on 27 December 1788.

Roles[edit]

Role Voice type Premiere Cast, 27 December 1788[2]
(Conductor: )
Giulio Cesare (Julius Caesar) soprano castrato Gaspare Pacchierotti
Calfurnia (Calpurnia) soprano Anna Casentini
Antonio (Mark Antony) bass Niccolò Perotti
Cassio (Cassius) tenor Filippo Martinelli
Bruto (Brutus) tenor Matteo Babini
Porzia (Porcia) soprano Antonia Viscardini
Albino soprano castrato Michele Cavanna

Synopsis[edit]

The subject of the opera is the conspiracy, led by Cassio, Bruto and Porzia, to murder Giulio Cesare (Julius Caesar) in Rome in 44 BC. Giulio Cesare's loving relationship with Calfurnia forms a subplot.

References[edit]

  1. ^ McClymonds, Marita P (1992), 'Sertor, Gaetano' in The New Grove Dictionary of Opera vol 4 p 328
  2. ^ Libretti d'opera-Università di Padova