Coronation of Poppea

Claudio Monteverdi


After the successful dramatization of Orfeo, Monteverdi’s first opera, we are going to work on another of the composer’s masterpieces – Coronation of Poppea that was first staged in 1642 (or 1643) in Venice. It is often referred to as the first opera following a historical theme but it’s a lively story full of intrigues, passion, and violence.

The librettist Giovanni Francesco Busenello drew from the Histories by Tacitus. Roman emperor Nero repudiates his wife Ottavia as he has an affair with Poppea who gets eventually crowned as empress. The opera includes also the historical character of Seneca the philosopher, sung in very deep bass, who commits suicide to fulfil the emperor’s order. Besides these characters there are also many other roles that introduce comic elements: e.g. the nanny and two soldiers. The Coronation of Poppea will be produced by the same team that worked on Orfeo – conductor Vojtěch Spurný and director Tomáš Pilař, and of course the opera will be presented with historically informed baroque music.

The opera will be staged in the Italian original.

Premiere on 18 April 2020 at the Grand Theatre