The action takes place in Egypt, the day after Giulio Cesare’s victory over Pompey. While savouring his victory, Cesare receives a visit from Cornelia, who begs him to spare her husband Pompey’s life. Cesare is about to grant her wish when Tolomeo, king of Egypt (and Cleopatra’s brother), has Pompey’s head delivered to Cesare. Everyone is shocked and appalled. Sesto, Cornelia’s son, is obsessed with killing Tolomeo and avenging his father’s death after the latter brutally separates him from his mother. Cleopatra decides to use her charms to win Cesare’s support in her efforts to become queen and rule Egypt alone. At first she is defeated by her brother’s army, but is rescued by Cesare and falls into his arms. After a series of plot twists, Sesto and Cornelia pledge their loyalty to Cesare and Cleopatra, who, in turn, sing of their love.
by George Frederic Handel Conducted by Michael Pecak Directed by Margaret Jumonville