Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Opera North's 'Making an Opera' - 23rd September 2014

The Coronation of Poppea
Image credit: Opera North

Opera North's 'Making an Opera' - 23rd September 2014

I attended a Making an Opera event which gave us an opportunity to get to know more about Opera North's production of The Coronation of Poppea.  I have to admit I never heard of this Monteverdi's opera until Opera North's announcement of the Autumn and Winter 2014/15 Season where the new production will be featured.

Members of the creative team including Musical Director, Laurence Cummings, and Director, Tim Albery, shared a contextual insight about this intriguing opera.  The Coronation of Poppea first premiered during Venice's Carnival Season in 1643.  Since then the two original musical scores (in Venice and Naples) have been the subject of adaptations and revivals. 

The versatile musical and libretto score offer Opera North an opportunity to produce the The Coronation of Poppea exclusively in English, libretto translated by Tim Albery, and change the musical aspects towards a more story telling essence.  The opera will focus primarily on Nerone's obsession for Poppea and extra characters are added to the scenes to enhance the story.  As well as the story Laurence Cummings went into detail how the music will feature and assemble in the production.  There seems to be an emphasis of the harpsichord and how the musical chords will reflect the characters and story's mood throughout. 

The cast of 12 singers will have their unique roles in this opera of extremes and contrasts. The staging will have an Italian theme throughout which reflect the cultural and history at the time of when Montevideo composed the opera.

With inherited unclear sources and limited information, Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea gives the creative team the freedom to interpret this unique opera for modern audiences.  I'm excited to see this production later in October (2014) and be given an opportunity to appreciate the production's beauty!

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