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G.F. Handel "Giulio Cesare"
Act ll, Cleopatra "Se pietà di me non senti"
Tatiana Troyanos - Cleopatra
Karl Richter - Conductor
Recording -April 1969
Image: As Didon, Les Troyens
-Special thanks to andrea585ny for her continuous support.
Time: 48 B.C, Place: Egypt
- Act I -
Giulio Cesare and his victorious troops arrive on the banks of the River Nile after defeating Pompeys forces. Pompeys second wife, Cornelia, begs for mercy for her husbands life. Cesare agrees, but on condition that Pompey must see him in person. Achille (Achillas),the leader of Egyption army, presents Cesare with a casket containing Pompeys head. It is a token of support from Tolomeo (Ptolemy),the co-ruler of Egypt (together with Cleopatra , his sister). Cornelia faints. Cesares assistant, Curio, offers to avenge Cornelia, hoping that she will fall for him and marry him. Cornelia rejectsthe offer in grief, saying that another death would not relieve her pain. Sesto, son of Cornelia and Pompey, swears by singing " Svegliatevi nel core" to take revenge for his fathers death. Cleopatra decides to use her charm to seduce Cesare. Achille brings the news to Tolomeo that Cesare was furious over the murder of Pompey. Cleopatra (in disguise) goes to meet Cesare in his camp hoping that he will support her as the queen of Egypt. Cesare is amazed by her beauty. Cesare, Cornelia and Sesto go to the Egyptian palace to meet Tolomeo . Tolomeo is fascinated by Cornelias beauty but has promised Achille that he could have her. Sesto attempts to challenge Tolomeo, but is unsuccessful. When Cornelia rejects Achille, he ordersthe soldiers to arrest Sesto.
- Act II -
In Cleopatras palace, she uses her charms to seduce Cesare. She sings praises of Cupids darts and Cesare is delighted. In Tolomeo's palace, Achille pleads with Cornelia to accept him, but she rejects him. When he leaves, Tolomeo also tries to win her, but is also rejected. Sesto entersthe garden of the palace, wishing to fight Tolomeo for killing his father. In Cleopatra's palace, Cesare hears the sounds of enemies approaching. Cleopatra reveals her identity and asks Cesare to flee, but he decides to fight. In Tolomeo's palace, the fight between Tolomeo and Sesto is interrupted by Achilles announcement that Cesare (in the attempt to run from soldiers) has jumped from the palace window and died. Achille asks again for Cornelia's hand in marriage but is turned down by Tolomeo. Sesto feels devastated and tries to kill himself but is prevented from doing so by his mother; he repeats his vow to kill Tolomeo.
- Act III -
Sounds of battle between Tolomeo's and Cleopatra's armies. Tolomeo celebrates his victory against Cleopatra. Cesare has survived his leap and prays for Cleopatra's safety. While searching for Tolomeo, Sesto finds the wounded Achille. He hands Sesto a seal of authority to enable Sesto to command his armies before he dies. Cesare appears and demandsthe seal. He promises that he will save both Cornelia and Cleopatra or die. Cleopatra is overjoyed to see Cesare alive. Sesto finds Tolomeo in the palace courting his mother and kills him. The victorious Cesare and Cleopatra enter the city of Alexandria, and Cesare proclaims Cleopatra as queen of Egypt and promises his support to her country. They declare their love, and the people acclaim their happiness and the bringing of peace to Egypt.
Svegliatevi nel core, furie d'un alma offesa, a far d'un traditor aspra vendetta! L'ombra del genitore accorre a mia difesa, e dice: a te il rigor, Figlio si aspetta. (parte)
Wake up in the core, furies of an alma offense, to make of a traitor bitter revenge! The shadow of the parent comes to my defense, and says: to you the rigor, Son expects. (part)