L’Incoronazione di Poppea
© Maarten Vanden Abeele

Claudio Monteverdi L’incoronazione di Poppea
Opera musicale in a prologue and three acts (1642/43)
Libretto by Giovanni Francesco Busenello

SALZBURGER FESTSPIELE
World Premiere on August 12th 2018 at Haus für Mozart

CREATIVE TEAM
William Christie: Musical direction
Jan Lauwers: Direction, sets and choreography
Lemm&Barkey: Costumes
Ken Hioco: Lighting creation
Elke Janssens: Dramaturgy

CAST
Sonya Yoncheva: Poppea
Kate Lindsey: Nerone
Stéphanie d’Oustrac: Ottavia
Carlo Vistoli: Ottone
Renato Dolcini: Seneca
Ana Quintans: Virtù / Drusilla
Marcel Beekman: Nutrice / Famigliare I
Dominique Visse: Arnalta
Lea Desandre: Amore / Valletto
Tamara Banjesevic: Fortuna / Damigella
Claire Debono: Pallade / Venere
Alessandro Fisher: Lucano / Soldato I / Tribuno / Famigliare II
David Webb: Liberto / Soldato II / Tribuno
Padraic Rowan: Littore / Console I / Famigliare III
Virgile Ancely: Mercurio / Console II 

Sarah Lutz: Solo dancer
Dancers of BODHI PROJECT and SEAD Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance: Luca Kancsó, Tilly Sordat, Cristina Forés-Hitt, Charmene Pang, Eftychia Stefanou, Giorgia Gasparetto, Sati Veyrunes, Félix Urbina Alejandre, Máté Horváth, Augustin Alriq, Jakob Jautz, Juan Sánchez Plaza, Lloyd Lowell, Máté Asbóth, Sam Huczkowski, Soul Roberts, Yonier Camilo Mejia
Paul Blackman (Jukstapoz): Choreographic assistance and preparation

Salzburger Festpiele
Needcompany
Les Arts Florissants

Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643) wrote the sensual love story 'L’incoronazione di Poppea', one of the most remarkable of all operas, just before his death. It was the first opera to be based on historical events rather than myth, legend or fiction (as had been the custom during the Renaissance). Like his contemporary, William Shakespeare, Monteverdi portrayed credible characters driven by human failings. To achieve this, he developed, among other things, the seconda pratica, where the music was pared down and guided by the libretto. The story and the emotions came to the fore. 

"Operas are about the meaning of love and life, and also very much about the meaning of death." In 'L’incoronazione di Poppea', Monteverdi presented a highly personal view of this principle. Although the libretto was inspired by historical figures and events, in the opera, horrible reality fades into the background to make way for sensual passion and elated triumph in a society that has lost sight of morality, where virtue is punished and avarice rewarded with the apparent triumph of love. The libretto, written by Giovanni Francesco Busenello, tells how Poppea uses everything in her power to ascend to the throne and become the wife of Emperor Nerone. 

Monteverdi holds a mirror up to his contemporaries in the form of an immoral story about tyranny and intrigue, concealed behind the most beautiful forms of Baroque music. He staged a tale that could only be set in a degenerate society, not in a civilized one. In Jan Lauwers’s interpretation, the mirror has become reality. At a time when excess and identity crises have gained the upper hand, a time when just about everything has become accessible, reason has been lost. Since the Enlightenment – the Age of Reason – God has been declared dead, the gods have lost their status.  

Jan Lauwers is transferring his unique approach to opera, in which text, movement, visual art and music are each given an autonomous role. In Lauwers’s setting for 'L’incoronazione di Poppea' at the Salzburg Festival, the gods do penance like cripples and the protagonists literally walk on the bodies of their sins, their deeds, their killing. The obsession with power, intrigue, cruelty, violence and manipulation triumphs on a background full of Baroque beauty. 

The collaboration between Jan Lauwers & Needcompany and William Christie & Les Arts Florissants is based on a central focus on the human body and the presence of the singers. For years, Baroque specialist William Christie has been familiar with L’incoronazione di Poppea. ‘By showing the triumph of cynicism and evil’, Christie says, ‘L’incoronazione di Poppea' reflects the contradictions and the fragility of the human soul in a disturbing yet fascinating fashion. To me, the emotion springs directly from Monteverdi’s score. To convey it to today’s audiences, our first concern is to respect the music as it was written by the composer.’

‘L’incoronazione di Poppea’ can be viewed in full on medici tv

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Claudio Monteverdi L’incoronazione di Poppea
Opera musicale in a prologue and three acts (1642/43)
Libretto by Giovanni Francesco Busenello

SALZBURGER FESTSPIELE
World Premiere on August 12th 2018 at Haus für Mozart

CREATIVE TEAM
William Christie: Musical direction
Jan Lauwers: Direction, sets and choreography
Lemm&Barkey: Costumes
Ken Hioco: Lighting creation
Elke Janssens: Dramaturgy

CAST
Sonya Yoncheva: Poppea
Kate Lindsey: Nerone
Stéphanie d’Oustrac: Ottavia
Carlo Vistoli: Ottone
Renato Dolcini: Seneca
Ana Quintans: Virtù / Drusilla
Marcel Beekman: Nutrice / Famigliare I
Dominique Visse: Arnalta
Lea Desandre: Amore / Valletto
Tamara Banjesevic: Fortuna / Damigella
Claire Debono: Pallade / Venere
Alessandro Fisher: Lucano / Soldato I / Tribuno / Famigliare II
David Webb: Liberto / Soldato II / Tribuno
Padraic Rowan: Littore / Console I / Famigliare III
Virgile Ancely: Mercurio / Console II 

Sarah Lutz: Solo dancer
Dancers of BODHI PROJECT and SEAD Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance: Luca Kancsó, Tilly Sordat, Cristina Forés-Hitt, Charmene Pang, Eftychia Stefanou, Giorgia Gasparetto, Sati Veyrunes, Félix Urbina Alejandre, Máté Horváth, Augustin Alriq, Jakob Jautz, Juan Sánchez Plaza, Lloyd Lowell, Máté Asbóth, Sam Huczkowski, Soul Roberts, Yonier Camilo Mejia
Paul Blackman (Jukstapoz): Choreographic assistance and preparation

Salzburger Festpiele
Needcompany
Les Arts Florissants

Tour dates

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August 2018
12 AugSalzburg ATSalzburger Festspiele Premiere
15 AugSalzburg ATSalzburger Festspiele
18 AugSalzburg ATSalzburger Festspiele
20 AugSalzburg ATSalzburger Festspiele
22 AugSalzburg ATSalzburger Festspiele
28 AugSalzburg ATSalzburger Festspiele
May 2021
22 MayVienna ATWiener Staatsoper Premiere
28 MayVienna ATWiener Staatsoper
31 MayVienna ATWiener Staatsoper
June 2021
03 JunVienna ATWiener Staatsoper
08 JunVienna ATWiener Staatsoper
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