L’incoronazione di Poppea by Monteverdi

Logo Liceu Opera Barcelona


Liceu Opera Orchestra & Choir
Jordi Savall, conductor
Calixto Beito, stage director

Julie Fuchs, Poppea
Magdalena Kozená, Ottavia


C. Monteverdi: L’incoronazione di Poppea

Monteverdi’s last opera was premiered in the winter of 1642 at the Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo (Teatro Grimano) in Venice. The author of the libretto, Giovanni Francesco Busenello, belonged to the Accademia degli Incogniti, a body with a reputation for libertinage and undisguised criticism of Christianity. Opera, at the time, was emerging from the palaces of the nobility to be staged in theatres, where it became available to wider audiences. It was also beginning to use plots based on historical events instead of mythology, as was the case in Monteverdi’s own L’Orfeo.  

Monteverdi has been called the “Oracle of Music” and his Poppea, though 380 years old, has surprisingly modern traits, with a depth and passion reminiscent of our own times. The music brilliantly captures Nero’s tyrannical hysteria and Poppea’s irresistible sensuality. Both words and music are used to achieve superb dramatic effects in a dazzling combination of comedy and tragedy.  

This production by Calixto Bieito was first seen at the Opernhaus Zürich in 2018 and has been one of the most successful shows of recent seasons. 

Jordi Savall, an unrivalled connoisseur of this repertory, will be on the podium to offer us a score which was believed lost for centuries until rediscovered in 1888. Ingredients such as eroticism, ambition and the fascination of power make this a modern opera.