Next May, Cecilia Bartoli takes the reins from Riccardo Muti to curate her first Salzburg Whitsun Festival. Its theme: the many facets of Cleopatra.
The centrepiece is Handel's Giulio Cesare in Egitto, featuring La Ceci herself as the Egyptian queen. Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier direct, Giovanni Antonini and Il Giardino Armonico provide the music, and the cast includes Anne-Sofie von Otter, Andreas Scholl and Philippe Jaroussky. After its two Whitsun performances, the production will be seen again at the main summer Festival.
A concert performance of Massenet's Cléopâtre features Sophie Koch, Ludovic Tézier and Véronique Gens with Vladimir Fedoseyev and the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg. Vesselina Kasarova and Piotr Beczala join Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra for Schumann's Julius Caesar Overture, Berlioz's La mort de Cléopâtre and Brahms's Rinaldo. Valery Gergiev's programme with the Mariinsky Orchestra includes works by Rubinstein, Shchedrin, Gounod and Prokofiev, and Anna Netrebko will sing Massenet's Dis-moi que je suis belle from Thaïs.
Somehow, Bartoli will also squeeze in an evening of baroque arias.
Tickets go on sale on 14 June (full subscriptions), with remaining individual tickets sold from 1 August. For more details, check out the press release or the full programme.