Tag Archives: Cleopatra

Mini-review on Amazon of Natalie Dessay’s CD Cleopatra arias from Giulio Cesare by Handel

I recently experienced the Met HD Live Stream of the McVickar production of Giulio Cesare with Natalie Dessay as Cleopatra, and was alternately curious and dismayed at what I can only call its ‘over-production’. There was so much to look at, the music was almost left in the distance. So I decided to simply listen to Ms. Dessay, rather than being concerned if she was going to wrinkle her brow while emoting (an 18-year-old Cleopatra wouldn’t have done that) or how many hours of yoga (she talked about this during the break) it took for her to acquire such nicely toned arms. In that respect, this CD does not disappoint. In fact, after listening to it a number of times during the past week, I can comfortably say that, though purists may with justification complain that not all the arias of Cleopatra are included in the CD, or that Ms. Dessay may at times seem to do almost as much improvising as ornamentation, that this is a pleasure to listen to. Ms. Dessay has a lovely and agile voice that handles the range and nuances of these Baroque arias with grace, and at times breathtaking, eloquence.