Listen to a Sample:
You will not likely hear a performance of Giulio Cesare today that has any resemblance to the romantic reading of the score heard in Naples in 1950. That is not to say that I am not grateful for the early music revolution, but hearing the likes of Cesare Siepi and Renata Tebaldi in these roles seems an even more compelling argument for the merits of this opera. Cesare Siepi strikes an impressive balance between the vocal agility required in the many florid arias, with the gravitas needed to portray an emperor. Renata Tebaldi is equally regal as Cleopatra. Hearing a voice as lush as hers (and remarkably agile as well) it seems regrettable that Handel operas are only cast with the lightest of voices. Dramatic mezzo Elena Nicolai proves equally formidable as Cornelia. Sadly the sound is far from perfect.