Poppaea Giulia Semenzato Nerone Kangmin Justin Kim Ottavia Katarina Bradić Ottone Carlo Vistoli Seneca Nahuel Di Pierro Arnalta Emiliano Gonzalez Toro Drusilla Lauranne Oliva Fortune Rachel Redmond Cupid Julie Roset Virtue Marielou Jacquard Lucano, Liberto, Lictor Rupert Charlesworth Valletto Kacper Szelążek Soldier 1 Patrick Kilbride Deuxième Sbire Antonin Rondepierre Troisième Sbire Renaud Brès
Away from the Forum and the chaotic Senate, Rome’s politics was lived through the passionate affairs, palace intrigues and personal ambitions of its political class. Smitten by the irresistible Pop-paea, Emperor Nerone plans to displace his wife Ottavia and raise his mistress to the throne, against the advice of philosopher Seneca and ignoring the threats of plots and blackmail stirred up by his rivals and former spurned lovers. Neither law nor morality can halt this vilified union that seems to unite the favor of the Gods themselves. But such extreme passion can only end in blood and tears and death.
In his final opera, Monteverdi favored complex and cruelly human characters over the sublime and triumphant heroes of mythology, thus breaking with a (new) tradition that he himself had helped establish with his early operas. In an atmosphere worthy of Shakespearean tragedy, the trivial merges with the sublime while the music resonates with desire and sensuality. Never before had passion been expressed with such psychological realism than in this score which magnifies the voices with a small orchestra providing the necessary nuance and subtlety. An intoxicating masterpiece entrusted for the first time to conductor Raphaël Pichon and the Pygmalion ensemble under the direction of Evgeny Titov accompanied by the very best of Baroque singing.
Overtitled in French, German