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Barefoot Opera Production

L’Incoronazione di Poppea

ONE NIGHT ONLY! L’Incoronazione di Poppea: Barefoot Opera’s new, multi-layered, one-off production, bringing to life Monteverdi’s classic tale of lust, power and tyranny. Janet Hodgson writes.

In Barefoot Opera’s new production, Monterverdi’s powerful and morally ambivalent tale is brought to life like never before. Increasingly known for their youthful, energetic ensemble style productions, Barefoot Opera, Hastings and St. Leonard’s very own opera company, have created a production that promises to be as compelling as it is thrilling, bringing together physical theatre, music and multi-layered story-telling.

Jenny Miller

Jenny Miller

L’incoronazione di Poppea, (The Coronation of Poppea) often thought to be Monteverdi’s operatic masterpiece, tells the tale of the beautiful Poppea, who manipulates her way to Emperor Nero’s throne – and Nero’s consuming erotic obsession for her. Taking place during the 450th anniversary celebrations of Monteverdi’s birth, director Jenny Miller has been motivated to bring this opera to singers and audiences alike.

“What inspires me about ‘Poppea’ – apart from its fantastic storyline – is that this is where opera really began. I would recommend that anyone interested in opera goes back to these early days, when opera was a real melting pot. To be engaged with the molten energy of Monteverdi’s transformation of words into music is a real jolt for the senses.” Jenny Miller, director.

With a small and intimate ensemble of musicians, led by Lesley-Anne Sammons on keyboards, Lucy Mulgan on Double Bass and Evelyn Nallen on recorder, the music in this production promises to be particularly ravishing, and includes one of the most beautiful love duets ever written.

Lucilla Graham, soon to star as Nerone in Barefoot Opera’s new production of L’Incoronazione di Poppea

Lucilla Graham, soon to star as Nerone in Barefoot Opera’s new production of L’Incoronazione di Poppea

This unique production brings together an international cast from a range of experiences and backgrounds, from those who are just starting out to those who are very experienced: whilst for one of the male singers, ‘Poppea’ is his first ever opera, the two leads are talented young professionals, including Lucilla Graham, who some may remember starring in Barefoot Opera’s Carmen in 2014.

Taking place for one night only in the amphitheatre-like space of St. Mary In The Castle, this production is a one-off in more ways than one. Hastings is – as we know – a town full of artists, and in this production, director Jenny Miller has collaborated with a number of talented artists and creative practitioners now resident in Hastings: Peter Fillingham, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design, who designed Derek Jarman’s Garden Installation for the Design Museum and several retrospective exhibitions of his work; Cressida Lewis, costume designer for commercials, film and TV, who worked on costume on the last three episodes of Absolutely Fabulous, has worked as mentor on this production with Costume Design graduate Vicky Turner, a resident of Bexhill.

A treat for Monterverdi fans, or a dramatic introduction to this classic opera, this is an event not to miss.

ONE NIGHT ONLY: L’Incoronazione di Poppea

Saturday 11 November at 7.30pm at St. Mary in the Castle, Hastings.. Tickets: Standard £16.50 in advance (£18.50 on the door), £3.50 under 12. Available from The Barefoot Opera website (and also from Hastings Tourist Office).

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Posted 15:53 Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 In: Music & Sound


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