L’Incoronazione di Poppea (1643): Claudio Monteverdi

★★★★ (Berlin Staatsoper, conducted by Diego Fasolis, 13 December 2017) Berlin’s Staatsoper has just reopened after a seven-year refurbishment. On Wednesday, the house was sold out as people gathered to celebrate its freshly gilded finery. And what was on the menu for the grand reopening? Not a safe and predictable opera – a Tosca or … Continue reading L’Incoronazione di Poppea (1643): Claudio Monteverdi

L’Incoronazione di Poppea (1643): Claudio Monteverdi

★★★½ (Hampstead Garden Opera at Jackson’s Lane Theatre, 12-21 May 2017) This spring, Hampstead Garden Opera are trying something new: their first Italian opera staged in the original language rather than English translation. The opera in question is Poppea, a perennial favourite of mine. Who could resist this blend of scheming, sexual abandon, murder and … Continue reading L’Incoronazione di Poppea (1643): Claudio Monteverdi

L’Incoronazione di Poppea (1643): Claudio Monteverdi

★★★★ (Theater an der Wien, Vienna, 19 October 2015) Before seeing Poppea, I’d been warned it was ‘hardcore Regietheater’, a phrase which would normally provoke serious qualms. But even I know better than to go to a Claus Guth production expecting togas and sandals. Despite my conservative tastes I can appreciate regie if it’s done well. It depends … Continue reading L’Incoronazione di Poppea (1643): Claudio Monteverdi

L’Incoronazione di Poppea (1643): Claudio Monteverdi

★★ (Norwegian National Opera 2010, conducted by Alessandro De Marchi) I’d been itching to see this production of Poppea for some time, ever since stumbling across some clips of Tim Mead’s E pur io torno on YouTube. The clips showed a bare, stripped-back set and a very striking use of colour, and the cast list looked promising. So on … Continue reading L’Incoronazione di Poppea (1643): Claudio Monteverdi

L’Incoronazione di Poppea (1643): Claudio Monteverdi

★★★★ (Teatro Real, Madrid, with Les Arts Florissant and William Christie, 2010) In the wake of the Barbican’s semi-staged Poppea, I decided to have another go at the DVD of this 2010 version from the Teatro Real in Madrid, to see how the two productions compared. It had completely bewildered me first time round. Perhaps … Continue reading L’Incoronazione di Poppea (1643): Claudio Monteverdi

L’Incoronazione di Poppea (1643): Claudio Monteverdi

(Barbican, Academy of Ancient Music with Robert Howarth, 4 October 2014) ★★★★ When a friend asked if I wanted to see Monteverdi’s Poppea at the Barbican on Saturday, I said yes immediately. Poppea is a landmark in the history of opera: the first to weave a story around historical characters rather than myths or saints. I’ve … Continue reading L’Incoronazione di Poppea (1643): Claudio Monteverdi