Video file

Antony & Cleopatra

JOHN ADAMS
With the exclusive sponsorship of

The Liceu hosts the European premiere of the new opera based on Shakespeare's famous drama

She was his queen. He was her undoing. 

Image
Play Antony Cleopatra

 

 

This two-act opera, commissioned for the centennial of the San Francisco Opera, is a co-commission and co-production with the Gran Teatre del Liceu and the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. With a libretto adapted by the composer himself from Shakespeare’s tragedy, composer John Adams, director Elkhanah Pulitzer and playwright Lucia Scheckner combine the mythic image of antiquity with the glamour of 1930s Hollywood.  

Of all Shakespeare’s plays, Antony and Cleopatra is the only one that merges a love drama, a power drama and comedy in a single play. A highly ambitious creation about the archetypal love affair between the two protagonists, as well as geo-strategy in the midst of the decline of the Ancient Republic and rise of the Roman Empire (personified by the young Octavian (Augustus) Caesar). The resonance with today’s world of declining democratic values and shifting international loyalties is provocative and very timely. 

Cleopatra (Julia Bullock) is the most psychologically textured character of all the Shakespearean female roles. Her extraordinary human qualities are expressed throughout the play: narcissism, intelligence, capacity for seduction and eroticism, ethical ambivalence, military bravery, indulgence and, ultimately, her true capacity to love. However, in her love game with Antony (Gerald Finley), she reveals real human vulnerability that transcends her self-control. Immersed in a conflict: her love for Antony and the struggle to remain in power; when she realises her defeat, full of scars impossible to erase, she chooses suicide over the humiliation of being brought back to Rome as a trophy of Caesar’s (Paul Appelby) military triumph. 

The action takes place in approximately 31-30 BC and alternates between two locations: Alexandria and Rome, although the production employs a variety of devices to connect the audience to the contemporary world. Through this journey, we witness the transformation of two god-like figures, Cleopatra/Isis and Antony/Hercules, into real lovers in all their fragility, intimacy and uncertainty. He was a Roman general; she was an Egyptian queen. Their passion would redefine the world order. 

With the exclusive sponsorship of:

 

 

 

Antony and Cleopatra

OPERA IN TWO ACTS
Libretto by John Adams based on Shakespeare’s homonymous work with Plutarch, Virgil and other classical texts passages.
World premiere: 10/09/2022 at San Francisco Opera 
Liceu premiere 

ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA (2022) - Opera in two acts - Music by John Adams - Libretto adapted by John Adams from Shakespeare, Plutarch, and Virgil; libretto consultation by Elkhanah Pulitzer and Lucia Scheckner (E) by permission of Boosey and Hawkes Music Publishers.

Approximate running time
3h 15min
Actes i mitges parts
  • First part 1h 20min
  • Interval 30min
  • Second part 1h 20min

Artistic profile

Stage Director
Elkhanah Pulitzer
Dramaturgy
Lucia Scheckner
Set Design
Mimi Lien
Costume Design
Constance Hoffman
Lighting
David Finn
Sound
Mark Grey
Video
Bill Morrison
Intimacy Director
Ita O'Brien
Stage Director Assistant
Morgan Robinson and Anna Llopart
Set Design Assistant
Britany Vasta
Coreography Assistant
Xavier Martínez
Lighting Assistant
Davida Tkach
Musical Director Assistant
Lorenzo Ferrandiz
Musicals Assistants
Véronique Werklé, Laura Poe y David-Huy and Nguyen-Phong
Production
Gran Teatre del Liceu, San Francisco Opera and Metropolitan Opera New York

Cast

CLEOPATRA
Image
Julia Bullock
Julia Bullock
CHARMIAN
Image
Adriana Bignagni.
Adriana Bignagni Lesca
ANTONY
Image
Gerald Finley
Gerald Finley
ENOBARBUS
Image
Alfred Walker.
Alfred Walker
EROS
Image
Retrat Brenton Ryan
Brenton Ryan
SCARUS
Image
Milan Perišic.
Milan Perišic
CAESAR
Image
Paul Appleby
Paul Appleby
LEPIDUS
Image
Guillem Batllori
Guillem Batllori
AGRIPPA
Image
Äneas Humm
MAECENAS
Image
Toni Marsol
OCTAVIA
Image
Elizabeth DeShong.
Elizabeth DeShong
IRAS
Image
Marta Infante
Chorus of the Gran Teatre del Liceu (Pablo Assante, conductor)
Symphony Orchestra of the Gran Teatre del Liceu
Conductor
John Adams
Torn C
Torn B
Torn P
Torn F
Torn A
Torn G AD

Programme

Here you can download the programme for free. Catalan or Spanish edition, only.

La prèvia

La prèvia ("The prelude") is a podcast of the Gran Teatre del Liceu. In this episode, we talk about John Adams' Antony & Cleopatra. A podcast produced by La máquina de la luz and with a script by Javier Blánquez. Catalan and Spanish versions only.