Monteverdi, Le couronnement de Poppée

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About

POPPEA

CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI (1567 — 1643)

THÉÂTRE DU JEU DE PAUME
IL NERONE, OSSIA L'INCORONAZIONE DI POPPEA
OPERA IN ONE PROLOGUE AND THREE ACTS
LIBRETTO BY GIOVANNI FRANCESCO BUSENELLO
FIRST PERFORMED IN 1642 AT TEATRO SANTI GIOVANNI E PAOLO OF VENICE
VENICE VERSION OF 1650
Conductor Leonardo García Alarcón
Stage Director Ted Huffman*
Stage Designer Johannes Schütz
Costume Designer Astrid Klein
Lighting Designer Bertrand Couderc
Dramaturge Antonio Cuenca Ruiz
Poppea Jacquelyn Stucker
Nerone Jake Arditti
Ottavia / Virtù Fleur Barron*
Ottone Paul-Antoine Bénos- Djian*
Seneca / Console Alex Rosen*
Arnalta / Nutrice / Famigliare 1 Miles Mykkanen
Fortuna / Drusilla Maya Kherani
Amore / Valetto Julie Roset*
Lucano / Soldato 1 / Famigliare 2 / Tribuno Laurence Kilsby
Liberto / Soldato 2 / Tribuno Riccardo Romeo
Littore / Famigliare 3 / Console Yannis François
Orchestra Cappella Mediterranea
* former artists of the Académie

NEW PRODUCTION OF THE FESTIVAL D’AIX-EN-PROVENCE
A COPRODUCTION WITH PALAU DE LES ARTS REINA SOFIÁ, OPÉRA DE RENNES
WITH THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF VINCENT MEYER

Bad men take as much delight in their shame as good men in noble things.

Seneca: Of a Happy Life, 58 CE

To take the place of the reigning Empress, the courtesan Poppea will stop at nothing. Mistress to Emperor Nero, she endeavours to remove any and all obstacles blocking her path to the throne. She ends her relationship with Otho, her lover; pushes Seneca, the philosopher, to suicide; and ensures that Octavia, the reigning empress, is repudiated by Nero. Poppea achieves her goal and marries the Emperor. Thanks to Monteverdi’s music, what could have been seen as a mere triumph of amorality becomes a hymn to the absolute power of desire, an exaltation to humanity trapped in its own contradictions. It was the ageing master’s last opera, but also the first masterpiece of the genre, and remains profoundly modern despite the four centuries that have passed since it premiered. The opera, still as fresh as the day it was written, is performed wonderfully by a young troupe, conducted by the maestro harpsichordist Leonardo García Alarcón and staged by the director Ted Huffman.

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