With just four arias to Cleopatra’s eight, the character of Tolomeo in Handel’s Giulio Cesare usually comes off at best as a pesky kid brother. Yet as enacted by the French countertenor Christoph Dumaux in David McVicar’s Bollywood-themed production in Glyndebourne years back, with kung-fu moves and killer vocal attack, he emerged as a real contender in the Queen of Nile’s game of thrones. As the Christian knight Orlando in thrall to a pagan princess, Dumaux’s opportunities explode exponentially—notably in a chromatic mad scene that seems decades if not a century or two ahead of its time. —M.G.
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