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Claudio Monteverdibio:
L’incoronazione di Poppea
(Opera in two parts, with interval)





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The event is about 3.0 hours long.

About the event

Although there is just one conductor listed in the program, the brand new production of the Iván Fischer Opera Company also has an invisible one. As the BFO’s music director puts it when talking about The Coronation of Poppea: “Amor proves that he directs the world.” And then he adds: “Freud would nod in agreement.” This approach of placing love in the center characterizes Iván Fischer’s latest opera direction. Following the great success of Orfeo in 2019, the conductor now returns to Monteverdi. This time, however, instead of the first opera in the history of music, he brings to the stage the composer’s last musical drama, the story of Nero, the bloody tyrant. In addition to the orchestra, the company consists of the most sought-after soloists of early music, coming from all corners of the world, from Scotland to Trinidad.

The Coronation of Poppea is the greatest work of Monteverdi in every sense of the word, and also the first opera to derive its plot from a historical subject. Adapting the true story of the emperor who murdered his mother and wife – from depicting suicide on stage to the consummation of guilty love – was certainly a brave endeavor. The composer also had a say in the libretto; he wrote the music paying assiduous attention to every detail. Monteverdi was the greatest innovator of musical tools used for expressing the meaning of the text, so it is not surprising that the opera presents with embarrassing openness the grief of saying farewell to one’s home and life or, for that matter, the sounds of lust until eventually the antihero and antiheroine unite in one of the most beautiful and also bizarre duets of the history of music. This attraction and the two persons involved – lust overcoming wisdom, the two seemingly dissimilar characters finding each other – stirred Iván Fischer’s curiosity. “A strange little pair”, he says, asking: “Or maybe this whole thing is not real?”

The title role will be sung by Jeanine De Bique, who was praised in The Washington Post for her “dramatic presence and versatility”. The role of Nerone will be performed by Arad-born countertenor Valer Sabadus, who won the Handel Prize in 2020. In a Guardian review, he was hailed as having “ravishing control and finely honed technique”. Countertenor Reginald Mobley, praised for his light, shimmering, pure, intelligible and articulated singing, will play Ottone; soprano Nuria Rial, who was chosen “Young Female Artist of the Year” and won the award of “Best Opera Recording” will sing Drusilla; and bass Gianculla Buratto, who used to collaborate with Sir John Eliot Gardiner in Monteverdi’s operas, will play Seneca. The audience will also meet such returning artists as Stuart Patterson, seen earlier in BFO’s Falstaff, and mezzo-soprano Luciana Mancini, who according to Bachtrack was the highlight of the Orfeo production.

Did you know? Monteverdi's opera premiered in Venice during the carnival period beginning on December 26 1642; the Festival Orchestra is performing it for the first time.

Contemporary events the Transylvanian Parliament elected George II Rákóczi prince of Transylvania / French tragedian Pierre Corneille's Polyeucte was published / Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn painted the Night Watch / French mathematician, physicist and religious philosopher Blaise Pascal designed a mechanical calculator for adding and subtracting eight-digit numbers / Dutch merchant Abel Janszoon Tasman discovered Tasmania, which was named after him, and New Zealand

A joint event of the Müpa Budapest and the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

This opera production has been supported by generous donations of Mrs. Aline Foriel-Destezet and the Conductor’s Circle of the Ivan Fischer Opera Company.

It is recommended to wear a face mask in the venue.

For further video interviews, please click here.

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