Ensemble OrQuesta

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Saturday Jul. 29th, 7pm and Sunday Jul. 30th, 7pm
John McIntosh Arts Centre -  SW6 1AW London

Music/stage director - Marcio da Silva
Assistant music director/Harpsichord - Stephanie Gurga 

Set/Costumes - Monika Saunders 
Assistant stage director - Vivi Baylis

Archlute - Cedric Meyer
Violin - Eleanor Harrison, Iulian Turicianu
Cello - Kate Conway

Poppea Agnès Parlange 29/07, Ekin Su Paker 30/07
Nerone Rosemary Carlton-Willis 29/07, Helen May 30/07 
Ottone Alexander Pullinger 29/07, Alex Masters 30/07
Drusilla Joana Gil 29/07, Meneka Senn 30/07
Ottavia Alex Bork 29/07, Susannah Hardwick 30/07
Seneca Flávio Lauria 29/07, Samuel Lom 30/07
Amore/Damigella Héloïse Bernard 29/07, Verity Bramson 30/07
Valletto/Fortuna Ellen Williams 29/07, Charlotte Levesley 30/07
Lucano/Liberto/Virtu  Noriko Yakushiji 29/07, Anna Heywood 30/07
Arnalta Marcio da Silva

With a libretto by Giovanni Francesco Busenello, L'Incoronazione di Poppea was first performed at the Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Venice during the 1643 carnival season. One of the first operas to use historical events and people, it describes how Poppaea, mistress of the Roman emperor Nero, is able to achieve her ambition and be crowned empress. The opera was revived in Naples in 1651, but was then neglected until the rediscovery of the score in 1888, after which it became the subject of scholarly attention in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The original manuscript of the score does not exist; two surviving copies from the 1650s show significant differences from each other, and each differs to some extent from the libretto. How much of the music is actually Monteverdi's, and how much the product of others, is a matter of dispute. None of the existing versions of the libretto, printed or manuscript, can be definitively tied to the first performance at the Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo, the precise date of which is unknown. Details of the original cast are few and largely speculative, and there is no record of the opera's initial public reception. Despite these uncertainties, the work is generally accepted as part of the Monteverdi operatic canon, his last and perhaps his greatest work.