New Productions

(The Coronation of Poppea)

Claudio Monteverdi
1567 - 1643

Opera in three acts with a prologue
Libretto by Giovanni Francesco Busenello
First performed in 1642, in Venice
Sung in Italian with German surtitles

Duration: 3 1/2 hours incl. one inerval

About the work

Nero ruled half the world from his throne in Rome. The only one more powerful than the tyrant was Amor, God of Love, who sets in motion a terrible game of desire and jealousy to prove it. 74 year old Claudio Monteverdi was not at all coy when it came to depicting the characters and intrigue in a story set in ancient Rome, creating a spectacle full of twists and turns. In one of the first works to be performed in a public opera house and not at court, Monteverdi decided to move away from the more usual mythical themes and focussed instead on the young tyrant Nero: the Roman Emperor, married to Ottavia, has fallen hopelessly and passionately in love with Poppea, General Ottone's unscrupulous wife. Seneca tries to make him see sense - but Nero would rather drive his old teacher to commit suicide than forget about Poppea. When Ottavia and Ottone are caught trying to kill Poppea in her sleep all obstacles are scattered to the wind: Nero sends his wife and general into exile and crowns Poppea Empress of Rome. So... »goodness« is not victorious: the inconsiderate win, people prepared to let nothing get in the way of their passions and goals. The work is full of amusing scenes which have nothing to do with main story at all but, apparently, give us an idea of what made Venetians laugh in those days. A young pair of lovers, two nurses and Fortuna and Virtù complete the picture: in the prologue the goddesses of pleasure and virtue argue about which of them will best be able to steer the course of events. But, in the end, it is Amor, the laughing third, who boasted that he »could change the entire world on a whim«, who wins.

Wednesday 03.07.2013 19:30 h

Further performances

Bockenheimer Depot

Pre-booking and Pricing


Michael Form
Hendrik Müller
Stage and Costume Designer
Claudia Doderer
Lighting Designer
Jan Hartmann
Video Designer
Dirk Schulz
Zsolt Horpácsy

Tempo (die Zeit) /
Consiglio (der gute Rat)
Sebastian Geyer
Intelletto (der Geist)
Francisco Brito
Corpo (der Körper)
Julian Prégardien
Anima (die Seele)
Kateryna Kasper *
Piacere (das Vergnügen)
Vasily Khoroshev
I due compagni di Piacere (zwei Begleiter Piaceres)
Francisco Brito
Sebastian Geyer
Angelo Custode (der Schutzengel) / Eco (das Echo)
Barbara Zechmeister
Anima Beata (die glückliche Seele) / Vita mondana (das irdische Leben)
Maren Favela *
Mondo (die Welt) / Anima Damnata (die verdammte Seele)
Vuyani Mlinde

Ensemble Barock vokal der Hochschule für Musik Mainz
Chorus Master
Christian Rohrbach

Orchestre Atlante and Members of Frankfurter Opern-und Museumsorchester

* Member of the Opera Studio

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