L'Incoronazione di Poppea was Monteverdi's last opera, written when he was 75, and is often considered to be his best. It was first performed in Venice in 1642, and a manuscript with the composer's own markings survives there to this day. The opera tells the amoral story of the Roman Emperor Nero's love affair with the scheming and seductive Poppea, here voluptuously portrayed by Maria Ewing, with evil triumphing over good, while the allegorical figures from the Prologue - Fortune, Virtue and Love - look on. This sparkling production by Sir Peter Hall is conducted by Raymond Leppard, the celebrated authority on Baroque music, who made this modern edition of the opera, which he has conducted in many major opera houses worldwide.
A wonderful production
- Monteverdi: L'Incoronazione Di Poppea: Glyndebourne Festival Opera review by DW
Glyndebourne has done itself proud with this performance of Monteverdi's opera. Maria Ewing sings and acts quite beautifully and certainly looks the part of Poppea. Utterly beguiling. As Nero, Dennis Bailey is in fine voice and the rest of the cast match the leads in keeping up very high standards as do the orchestral players. Peter Hall's staging is imaginative, especially in the way he allows the gods, after their initial prologue, to be positioned on high as if in the heavens looking down on the vagaries of the all too human protagonists
.I have seen live staged performances of this opera as well as others on DVD but I do think this matches any previously experienced. It's interesting that this particular 1984 production doesn't seem to have dated at all which is much to the credit of Peter Hall especially, I'm sure.