Topic: College of Fine Arts

January 25, 2008

Ball State's Opera Theatre will present "Julius Caesar in Egypt," a legendary love story between two of the most talked about leaders in history, Julius Caesar, a key ruler of the Roman Empire, and the Egyptian ruler, Cleopatra.

This all-student production entails everything interesting in the media today, said Joseph Levitt, Ball State Opera Theatre artistic director.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Feb.1, 2, 8 and 9 in Sursa Performance Hall, a new venue for Ball State Opera Theatre.

"It's a century-old story of love, murder, revenge and war — all things we are still writing and reading about today," Levitt said.

The tale begins after Caesar defeats Pompey, a Roman leader, in Greece. He then arrives in Egypt and is quickly angered when Ptolemy, Cleopatra's brother, sends an inappropriate gift, Pompey's head.

Achilles, an Egyptian general, then offers to murder Caesar in exchange for Pompey's widow, Cornelia.After finding out that her brother beheaded Pompey, Cleopatra in disguise seeks an alliance with Caesar, to defeat Ptolemy.

Cleopatra is crowned the sole ruler of Egypt, and the opera ends with a rousing ensemble proclaiming that peace has been restored to Egypt.

"The Friday and Saturday shows will sound entirely different each night, but both will be glorious," Levitt said.

According to Levitt, Sursa Performance Hall is an acoustically perfect setting where singers' voices can soar over the orchestra.

Tickets cost $12 for adults, $5 for students with ID and $10 each for groups of 10 or more. Tickets can be purchased at the Emens box office at 765-285-1539, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge-by-phone at 765-644-3131 or online at

By Jennifer Regnier