The Spring 2012 opera is Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea. Performances are Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 26 at 3 p.m. in Kimball Recital Hall. Tickets: Adults $20, student/senior $10. Available thru the Lied Center box office, 402/472-4747 or 1-800/432-3231.
A debate rages in the lounge of an upscale hotel. Which aspect of human existence will rule the day: Virtue, Fortune, or Passionate Love?
Enter the world of the Hotel Roma -- a dangerous and corrupt empire under the control of its feared and impetuous leader, Nero. Nero’s nemesis, Otho, has recently returned to the hotel, anticipating a passionate reunion with his beloved Poppea, only to discover that she is in bed with Nero himself. Craving power, the ambitious Poppea is ready to use the fullness of her female resources to persuade Nero to crown her empress. But Nero’s wife Octavia will not go down without a fight, and plots to have Poppea assassinated. Will Poppea’s sensual magnetism triumph over all obstacles?
Set in a post-war film noir style, UNL Opera’s production takes its inspiration from Francis Ford Coppola’s epic cinematic masterpiece The Godfather and the artwork of contemporary painter Jack Vettriano.
The Hotel Roma setting offers the perfect backdrop for the lust, brutality, corruption, and steaming sensuality of Claudio Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea.
Credited with being the father of the operatic genre, Monteverdi’s 1607 setting of the Orpheus legend is the first opera to have survived in the repertoire. This final opera was composed in 1642, when he was 76 years old. Though Monteverdi set the story in ancient Rome, Poppea was aimed at his own Venetian society plagued by decadence, political abuse, and social disintegration.
Our current TV newscasts serve as reminders that Monteverdi’s Venice and Nero’s Rome offer dangerously relevant lessons for our own times as well. Monteverdi’s musical setting contains a sensuousness, violence, and breathtaking beauty -- as thrilling to audiences today as it was some 350 years ago.
Directed by William Shomos.
Conducted by Tyler Goodrich White.
Sung in the original Italian with English supertitles.