Giulio Cesare

G. F. Händel

The love story of Julius Caesar and Queen Cleopatra is one of Handel’s best operas. A genuine cosmopolite, Handel honed the Italian baroque opera tradition to perfection while enjoying the height of his popularity in London. Opera was the perfect match to baroque’s decorative and dramatic exuberance. 

In Giulio Cesare in Egitto, power and love are intertwined. The opera is fuelled with energy from the delectable music and the believable characters of the story. This production is a musical tragicomedy, a fast-paced battle for love.  

The director of the production, Marin Blažević, is also the artistic director and head dramaturge of the Opera Company of Croatian National Theatre in Rijeka. He has weaved multiple layers into the story. The performance starts with a rehearsal, builds up and evolves into a masterful opera spectacle, begins to fall apart, and eventually disappears. In the midst of all the entertaining extravaganza, “we’re searching for ways to make our Giulio Cesare both relatable and current, both in terms of global politics and the pandemic,” the director says.  

Giulio Cesare is making history at the Savonlinna Opera Festival as the first baroque opera by Handel performed on the Olavinlinna stage. The lead role is sung by Diana Haller, the sought-after virtuoso of baroque repertoire. 

See also the other visiting performance from the Croatian National Theatre in Rijeka, Arlecchino & Gianni Schicchi.

You can find the cast list here.

Read synopsis


  • Conductor

    Benjamin Bayl

  • Director and dramaturg

    Marin Blažević

  • Set designers

    Alan Vukelić & Marin Blažević

  • Costume designer

    Sandra Dekanić

  • Lighting designer

    Dalibor Fugošić & Marin Blažević

  • Projection designers

    Dobriša Radovanović & Alan Vukelić

  • Choreographer

    Michele Pastorini

  • Rijeka Symphony Orchestra

  • Rijeka Opera Choir
  • Ballet of the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc
  • Language


  • Subtitles

    Finnish and English

  • Duration

    app. 4 hours 15 minutes, two intervals


Diana Haller
Giulio Cesare
Anamarija Knego
Rachel Kelly
Dubravka Šeparović Mušović
Sonja Runje
Luka Ortar
Franko Klisović
Ivan Šimatović
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