Pinchgut Opera are taking on Monteverdi's magnificent shocker set in Ancient Rome
The intrigues of the Roman Emperor Nero and his mistress Poppea make the Trumps and the Clintons look tame; accounts by contemporary historians such as Tacitus are so sensational and well-written that the story eventually had to get on stage, particularly with Nero’s musical connection. But until Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) produced his mighty swansong, characters in opera had to be kept mythical and preferably noble. Poppea was a magnificent shocker based on a true story, with much exquisitely beautiful and highly original music.
Like Hamlet and many masterpieces of the pre-PDF 1600’s, multiple inconsistent and incomplete scores exist, but we’re in good hands with conductor Erin Helyard, who has a scholar’s eye and a deft hand for delivering authentic and engrossing performances. This is sure to be another triumph for Pinchgut Opera.
Helen Sherman will sing Poppea and Jake Arditti Nero, with a supporting cast of Natalie Christie Peluso, Roberta Diamond, Owen Willetts, Kanen Breen, Adam Player, Jacob Lawrence, David Greco and Jeremy Kleeman.