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L'incoronazione di PoppeaNew Production

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OpernhausFalkenstrasse 1, Zürich, 8008, Switzerland
June 24, 27, 30, July 03, 05, 08 14:00, 12 (at 19:00 unless shown)
Performers
Zurich Opera
Ottavio DantoneConductor
Calixto BieitoDirector
Rebecca RingstSet Designer
Ingo KrüglerCostume Designer
Jake ArdittiCountertenorAmore
Valer SabadusCountertenorNerone
Hamida KristoffersenSopranoLa Virtù
Stéphanie d'OustracMezzo-sopranoOttavia
Julie FuchsSopranoPoppea
Emiliano Gonzalez ToroTenorArnalta
Thobela NtshanyanaTenorLucano
Omer KobiljakBaritoneLiberto
Deanna BreiwickSopranoDrusilla
Nahuel di PierroBass-baritoneSeneca
Delphine GalouContraltoOttone
Manuel Nuñez CamelinoTenorNutrice
Florie ValiquetteSopranoLa Fortuna
Orchestra La Scintilla Zurich

Written 370 years ago at the very dawn of operatic history, L’incoronazione di Poppea has remained a highlight in the operatic genre to this day, portraying modern human beings whose vanities, passions and darker sides are by no means far removed from our own. Poppea was the first of Monteverdi’s operas in which, rather than a mythological tale, he chose a historical, surprisingly amoral subject matter – which could certainly have been interpreted as a criticism of his own time. He was, however, less interested in the historical facts: Emperor Nero’s excesses and orgies are only marginally apparent in the opera. The composer was much more preoccupied with the protagonists’ calamitous involvement in power structures and their corruptibility.

Poppea is in pursuit of one goal: to become Nero’s wife and replace Ottavia as Empress. Poppea unscrupulously deploys her feminine charms; Nero has long since been enthralled by her beauty. She skilfully puts Nero at odds with the philosopher Seneca, who has seen through her lust for power. For Poppea to become Empress, Seneca must die. Ottavia sees only one way to stop Poppea: she incites Ottone to murder Poppea, his unfaithful lover. However, the plan fails and instead gives Nero the eagerly awaited inducement to reject Ottavia officially. Poppea becomes Empress.

Monteverdi has brilliantly captured Nero’s tyrannical hysteria and Poppea’s sensuality in music. As a musical dramatist, Monteverdi appears modern in our eyes for the indissoluble link he creates between language and music, through which he achieves a sense of great drama in short scenes, and through his virtuoso combination of comedy and tragedy. Julie Fuchs will be giving her role début as Poppea, as will Stéphanie d’Oustrac as Ottavia and Nahuel Di Pierro as Seneca. The much-lauded counter-tenor Valer Sabadus can be heard at Zurich Opera House for the first time. After Zimmermann’s Soldaten and Prokofiev’s Fiery Angel, Calixto Bieito will be presenting his third directorial work at the Opera House. His partner at the rostrum is Ottavio Dantone, one of the leading conductors of Italian baroque music.

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