Magazine article Gramophone

Monteverdi

Magazine article Gramophone

Monteverdi

Article excerpt

Monteverdi L'incoronazione di Poppea Helen Sherman mez                    Poppea/Fortuna Jake Arditti counterten                      Nerone Natalie Christie Peluso sop  Ottavia/Drusilla/Virtu Owen Willetts counterten                     Ottone David Greco bar                              Seneca Kanen Breen ten                     Arnalta/Nutrice Roberta Diamond sop                          Amore Pinchgut Opera; Orchestra of the Antipodes / Erin Helyard hpd 

Pinchgut Live (F) (2) PG010 (150' * DDD) Includes synopsis, libretto and translation Recorded live

Pinchgut Opera's 2017 staged production has several singers doubling up in multiple roles, which is likely the same sort of accepted pragmatism that was part of working life in the first public opera theatres in mid-17th-century Venice. It seems apt that Helen Sherman's wily Poppea is foreshadowed by the same singer in the prologue performing Fortuna's robust criticism of Virtu, who is in turn sung imperiously by Natalie Christie Peluso in anticipation of her reappearance as Ottavia. It also paves the way for the triumph of Roberta Diamond's impish Amore in both contexts. Jake Arditti's singing veers between seductive and volatile (arguably appropriate for Nerone), whereas Owen Willetts conveys Ottone's anguish and indecision. David Greco captures both Seneca's obsequiousness with Ottavia and the dignity of his suicide, its pathos supported by editorial violins not unlike those in Monteverdi's late Venetian concertato madrigals--an aesthetic connection between that genre and the response of the philosopher's friends that is realised intelligently in this astute performance. …

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