Magazine article Opera Canada

L'incoronazione Di Poppea

Magazine article Opera Canada

L'incoronazione Di Poppea

Article excerpt

Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea revolves around the abuse of power, be it the political authority of a statesman or the bewitching force of beauty. The opera is one of the earliest we know, and yet its themes remain universal. After a run in Paris in 2004, this co-production between Berlin's Staatsoper unter den Linden the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris, the Opera national du Rhin in Strasbourg and the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels premiered at the Staatsoper in February (Feb. 16 performance reviewed). The Berlin performances formed part of the Staatsoper's Cadenza festival of Baroque music, and were the third in a series of four Monteverdi collaborations between Rene Jacobs and the house.

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Director David McVicar's interpretation focused on the timelessness of Monteverdi's opera. He set the story within the upper echelons of the nouveau riche. Nerone is an enfant terrible, a dread-locked cross between Michael Jackson and David Beckham, wielding the power of a spoiled child. The remaining characters find places within the brat-pack hierarchy, each of them seeking a personal version of greatness.

The set (Robert Jones) and costumes (Jenny Tiramani) complemented this idea, bringing together Roman, Baroque and contemporary elements. …

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