The Coronation of Poppea

Claudio Monteverdi - Autumn 2013

“Unlimited power in the hands of limited people always leads to cruelty” – Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Conductor 
Michael Rosewell
Director 
James Conway
Revival Director 
Oliver Platt
Orchestra 
Old Street Band
Designer 
Samal Blak
Lighting Designer 
Ace McCarron

★★★★ The Guardian
★★★★ Sunday Express
★★★★ Bachtrack

Love, power, morality, corruption… Monteverdi’s final masterpiece The Coronation of Poppea is often described as his greatest achievement, combining mythic and very human themes, and featuring some of his most glorious music.

Interview with ETO director James Conway

Season trailer

Filmed and edited by Richard Hubert Smith: www.richardhs.com

One of the first operas to use historical events and people, it tells the story of Nero’s infatuation with the young and beautiful Poppea as she tries to make him divorce his wife Ottavia and take her as his new queen and empress of Rome.

Directed by James Conway and conducted by Michael Rosewell, The Coronation of Poppea is rich, complex and thoroughly modern work; a world populated by ruthless and all-too-human characters where lust and ambition ultimately triumph over virtue.

Revival production, sung in English
Touring with a live period orchestra
Running time: 2 hours 32 minutes (incl. interval)

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Music playlist

Showing At

  1. Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music, London
    28th Sep 2013 - 7:30 pm
  2. Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music, London
    9th Oct 2013 - 7:30 pm
  3. Snape Maltings Concert Hall
    18th Oct 2013 - 7:30 pm
  4. Malvern Theatres
    25th Oct 2013 - 7:30 pm
  5. Theatre Royal Bath
    28th Oct 2013 - 7:30 pm
  6. Harrogate Theatre
    1st Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm
  7. Gala Theatre, Durham
    6th Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm
  8. Buxton Opera House
    8th Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm
  9. Cambridge Arts Theatre
    14th Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm
  10. Exeter Northcott Theatre
    21st Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm
  1. Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music, London — 28th Sep 2013 - 7:30 pm

    Prince Consort Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2BS

  2. Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music, London — 9th Oct 2013 - 7:30 pm

    Prince Consort Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2BS

  3. Snape Maltings Concert Hall — 18th Oct 2013 - 7:30 pm

    Aldeburgh Music, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape, Suffolk, IP17 1SP

  4. Malvern Theatres — 25th Oct 2013 - 7:30 pm

    Malvern Theatres, Grange Road, Malvern, Worcestershire, WR14 3HB

  5. Theatre Royal Bath — 28th Oct 2013 - 7:30 pm

    Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose, Bath, BA1 1ET

  6. Harrogate Theatre — 1st Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm

    Harrogate Theatre, Oxford Street, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 1QF

  7. Gala Theatre, Durham — 6th Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm

    1 Millennium Place, Town Centre, Durham, DH1 1WA

  8. Buxton Opera House — 8th Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm

    Water Street, SK17 6XN

  9. Cambridge Arts Theatre — 14th Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm

    6 St Edward's Passage, Cambridge, CB2 3PJ

  10. Exeter Northcott Theatre — 21st Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm

    Exeter Northcott, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QB

Michael Rosewell

Michael Rosewell

Conductor

Michael began his career at the Vienna State Opera as a member of the music staff and assistant to Claudio Abbado. Having worked closely with many of the world’s greatest singers including Pavarotti, Domingo, Gruberova, Freni, Carreras, Alfredo Kraus, and Cappuccilli, he went on to conduct extensively throughout Germany; notably the opera houses in Kassel, Wiesbaden and the Nationaltheater, Mannheim, where he held the position of Kapellmeister. He has also conducted at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, for Kent Opera, ENO, and regularly at the International Festivals in Aldeburgh, Bath, Perth, Buxton and Montepulciano.

In concert Michael has conducted amongst others, the Staatsorchester, Rheinische Philharmonie, the Nationalorchester, Mannheim, the Staatsorchester, Wiesbaden, the Pforztheimer Kammerorchester, the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, the RTE Symphony Orchestra, the London Mozart Players, the BT Scottish Ensemble and the Aurora Orchestra. He has also worked extensively with leading period instrument ensemble ‘The London Handel Orchestra’ with which, as ‘Associate Conductor’, he introduced many rarely performed Handel operas to the London stage. He has broadcast for Radio France Musique, RTE Dublin and Süddeutsche Rundfunk. His recording of Lehar arias, with Grammy award winning tenor Alfie Boe and the Orchestra of Scottish Opera was recently re-released under the Decca record label.

Recent projects include mentoring Craig Revel Horwood through to winning the BBC Maestro at the Opera, filmed in association with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, to conducting a Bach’s St John Passion with the RTE Symphony Orchestra, Dublin. His most recent performances with ETO included Michael Tippett’s King Priam at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; a production which won the Olivier Award for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Opera’, 2014.

James Conway

James Conway

Director

General Director of ETO, James Conway has directed 24 new productions and 4 revivals for the company, including Donizetti’s The Siege of Calais (to be revived in 2015), Maria Stuarda and Anna Bolena and Handel’s Alcina, Ariodante, Teseo, Tolomeo, Flavio, Xerxes and Agrippina. Other notable ETO productions include Eugene Onegin, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Simon Boccanegra, The Emperor of Atlantis and the world première of Alexander Goehr’s Promised End. For RCM he directed L’incoronazione di Poppea and Le nozze di Figaro, and for the Canadian Opera Company Don Giovanni. His production of The Cunning Little Vixen is in repertory at the Moravian National Theatre in Janacek’s home city of Brno. He has written original libretti for 2 operas and translations for 5 others, as well as several works of fiction; his most recent translation was last season’s Agrippina. Upcoming productions include Giulio Cesare (Lucca) and Ottone (ETO).

Oliver Platt

Oliver Platt

Revival Director

Old Street Band

Old Street Band

Orchestra

Samal Blak

Samal Blak

Designer

Ace McCarron

Ace McCarron

Lighting Designer

Cast

Helen Sherman

Helen Sherman

Mezzo soprano

Nero

Australian mezzo-soprano Helen Sherman studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Following her success in the 2007 Australian Singing Competition she was awarded a scholarship to take up studies at the Royal Northern College of Music. In 2011 she represented Australia at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition.

Of her recent performance as Aurelio for English Touring Opera’s L’Assedio di Calais, The Times wrote: “Donizetti’s fierce vocal demands are met fearlessly and thrillingly by the young Australian mezzo Helen Sherman, playing the volatile hero Aurelio. Her stridently masculine body language and formidable vocal power seem to epitomize the bloody-minded resistance of the besieged citizens.”

Recent engagements have included Dorabella for ETO, Donna Elvira for Mid Wales Opera, Suzuki and Governess for Grange Park Opera.
Helen’s concert appearances include recitals at Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall and City of London Festival, Performances at Cheltenham Festival, the Royal Albert Hall with Sir David Willcocks, a recital with Roger Vignoles, Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder with the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra and Peter Maxwell Davies’s Five Acts of Harry Patch with London Mozart Players at St John’s Smith Square.
Future engagements include Nicklausse (The Tales of Hoffmann), Nero (The Coronation of Poppea) and a recital with Malcolm Martineau and Sir Thomas Allen at Wigmore Hall for the Samling Foundation.

Paula Sides

Paula Sides

Soprano

Poppea

Ms Paula Sides will sing the role of Mimi on 11 April (Everyman Theatre, matinee performance), 25 April (Warwick Arts Centre), 28 April (Exeter Northcott Theatre), 16 May (Buxton Opera House) and 29 May (Cambridge Arts Theatre).

Paula received the Tagor Gold Medal from the RCM and the Karaviotis Prize at the Les Azuriales International Competition. At RCM, she was a finalist for the Young Concert Artists Trust and received the Coutts & Co. Award along with the Sir Thomas Allen Scholarship supported by a Clayton Award. Operatic roles include Norina/ Don Pasquale, Gilda/ Rigoletto (Preggio Opera Festival, Italy); Atalanta/ Atalanta (Handel Society); Bastienne/ Bastien und Bastienne (Skipton Camerata); Mimi/ La bohème, Inez/ Il trovatore (both Opus I Opera); Grasshopper/ The Cunning Little Vixen (RCM). Covers include Governess/ Turn of the Screw (Opera North). Concert engagements include Mozart Unwrapped (King’s Place with Roger Vignoles November 2011), City of Dreams (Philharmonia Orchestra concert series 2009); City Music Society series (Eric Falk Trust Award). Paula has also recorded a Peroni advert soundtrack. Previously for ETO, Paula has performed the roles of Pamina/ The Magic Flute, Clizia/ Teseo, Emilia/ Flavio, Susanna/ Figaro.
www.operauk.com/paula-sides

Piotr Lempa

Piotr Lempa

Bass

Seneca

SPRING 2014 – THE MAGIC FLUTE
The role of Sarastro will be sung by Mr Piotr Lempa for the following performances: Truro (10 March), Cheltenham (5 April), York (15 April), Crawley (5 May), Exeter (13 May), Perth (22 May), and Cambridge (31 May).

Mr Piotr Lempa will sing the role of Speaker on the following dates: London (7, 8 March), Poole (13 March), Wolverhampton (17 March), Snape (27 March), Cheltenham (3, 4 April), Leicester (7 April), Sheffield (11 April), Canterbury (22 April), Norwich (27 April), Coventry (9, 10 May), Exeter (14, 15 May), Durham (19 May), and Cambridge (29, 30 May).

Piotr Lempa is a native of Poland and graduate of RAM, Cardiff International Academy of Voice and the Vocal and Acting Faculty at the Music Academy in Gdansk, Poland. He made his opera debut singing Oroveso Norma for ETO. He has since appeared in productions of La bohème, Die Zauberflöte, Ariadne auf Naxos, Kátya Kabanová, Halka, Don Giovanni, Rigoletto, Le nozze di Figaro, Bastien und Bastienne, and Salome, in Wales, England, Germany and Poland. Future plans include Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), Patroclus (King Priam) and Publius (La Clemenza di Tito). www.piotrlempa.com

Hannah Pedley

Hannah Pedley

Mezzo soprano

Ottavia

Hannah trained at the Royal Northern College of Music.
Current and future engagements include Metella in Offenbach’s La Vie Parisienne for Opera Della Luna at Iford, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana for Opera Holland Park, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel for English Pocket Opera and 3rd Lady and Papagena in an evening exploring die Zauberflöte with Marcus du Sautoy at the Linbury.
Recent engagements have included Carmen Olga, Rita the Rat in Fantastic Mr Fox all for Opera Holland Park, Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle for English Pocket Opera, Mother in The Knife’s Tears for Opera Diversa in Prague and covering Melissa in Anna Nicole at the Royal Opera House.
Other highlights have included Romeo I Capuleti e i Montecchi at Grange Park and on tour with Pimlico Opera, Nancy Albert Herring for New Kent Opera, Duck and Policeman in ROH2’s Linbury production of the Wind in the Willows, Princess Death Cocteau in the Underworld for ROH2 at Brighton Festival, Smeton Anna Bolena and Orlofsky Die Fledermaus for Swansea City Opera.
Hannah has also worked closely with Second Movement, singing Dinah Trouble in Tahiti, Madam Flora The Medium, Ruth The Impresario, Mother The Knife’s Tears, Marfa Rothschild’s Violin and Sally in A Hand of Bridge.
She has created roles in The Witch by Andrew M Wilson at Tavistock Festival, Hollow Hill by Ian McQueen at Buxton Festival, Fade by Stefan Weisman for Second Movement and Twitterdammerung at the Royal Opera House. She also performed roles in several new pieces for Exposure at the Linbury with ROH2 in 2010 and 2011.
Future concert work includes Elgar’s Music Makers with the Bath Philharmonia, Rossini’s Stabat Mater with Bournemouth Bach Choir and Messiahs with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Hannah will also be guest artist with Newcastle Male Voice Choir in 2014.

Michal Czerniawski

Michal Czerniawski

Countertenor

Ottone

Polish countertenor Michal Czerniawski studied at the Gdansk Academy of Music and at GSMD. He was a member of 2007 edition of Le Jardin des Voix, touring Europe and USA with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, and is alumnus of the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme. His stage credits include Arsamene (Handel Serse), Timagene (Hasse Cleofide), Orfeo (Gluck Orfeo ed Euridice), Guido (Handel Flavio – cover) and Crazy Jane (Purcell The Fairy Queen). He has performed in concert with conductors including Christie, Suzuki, Hogwood and Beck. Recently he sang the title role in Agostino Steffani’s Orlando Generoso at The Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Birmingham.

Stuart Haycock

Stuart Haycock

Tenor

Lucano

Australian-born tenor Stuart Haycock studied in Sydney and RAM. Engagements include Goro Madame Butterfly (MWO/New Devon Opera), Bardolph Falstaff (MWO), Don Curzio Le nozze di Figaro (Garsington), Borsa Rigoletto and Gastone La Traviata (Iford Arts Festival), Ferrando Così fan tutte (English Chamber Opera), Parpignol La Boheme (Longborough), Mole Fantastic Mr Fox, Giovanni D’aire L’assedio di Calais, Captain Simon Boccanegra, Lucano L’incoronazione di Poppea and Demus Jason (ETO), Triquet Eugene Onegin and Beppe Pagliacci (Stanley Hall Opera), St Brioche The Merry Widow (Opera Project). He has covered roles in The Tales of Hoffmann, Wolfgang Rihm’s Jacob Lenz, Martinu’s Julietta and Vaughan Williams’s The Pilgrim’s Progress for ENO.

Jake Arditti

Jake Arditti

Countertenor

Amor

Finalist and special prize winner at the 2012 Innsbruck International Baroque Singing Competition‚ countertenor Jake Arditti studied at the Guildhall School and the Royal College of Music’s prestigious Opera School, supported by a Countess of Munster Musical Trust Award‚ a Drapers Company‚ Baroness de Turckheim Scholarship and the Josephine Baker Trust. His professional career began as a treble‚ performing with English National Opera and Glyndebourne Festival‚ where he sang Yniold Pelléas et Mélisande.

Recent and future plans include Othniel in Handel’s Joshua and Spirit Dido and Aeneas for Opera North‚ Nireno Julius Caesar (ENO)‚ Cupid Venus and Adonis and Spirit (Innsbruck Festival)‚ title role Riccardo Primo (London Handel Festival under Laurence Cummings)‚ Guido Flavio (ETO) and SUM , a new work by Max Richter (ROH2). Other roles include Apollo Terpsicore/Il Pastor Fido and Unulfo Rodelinda (London Handel Festival).

Theatre work includes The Revenger’s Tragedy and Dido Queen of Carthage (National Theatre) and Laurie Sansom’s critically-acclaimed production of The Duchess of Malfi for The Royal and Derngate‚ Northampton.

Recent and future concerts include performances at Heidelberg’s Frühling Festival of Respighi’s Il Tramonto and Hilda Paredes’ Canciones Lunaticas for countertenor and string quartet‚ which had its UK premiere at the Wigmore Hall and will be performed at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival, and The Pera Ensemble’s Soul to Soul programme (Heidelberg and Cologne) as well as performances with the Arditti Quartet at the Wien Modern (Vienna)‚ Festival d’Automne (Paris)‚ Edenkoben, Germany and Tokyo.

Nicholas Merryweather

Nicholas Merryweather

Baritone

Liberto

Sheffield born, Nicholas Merryweather studied at the Musikhochschule in Cologne and on the opera course at GSMD. He was a recipient of the ETO Chris Ball Bursary in 2011 and the 2008 Glyndebourne Wessex Award. Nicholas’s operatic roles include Don Giovanni, Papageno The Magic Flute and Mozart’s Figaro (LFO); Don Polidoro The Italian Girl in London (Buxton Festival); Cassandro La Finta Semplice for Bampton Classical Opera; Blazes The Lighthouse, title role Fantastic Mr Fox, Marco Gianni Schicchi (ETO). Concert engagements include Bach with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Handel with the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra and Hallé Orchestra.

Russell Harcourt

Russell Harcourt

Countertenor

Nutrice

Sydney born counter tenor Russell Harcourt was a finalist at the 2012 Kathleen Ferrier Awards. He studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, at the Royal Academy of Music and he is an Associate Artist of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House performing there for the first time in the 2011 Deloitte Ignite Series. He made his operatic debut in 2007 as Oberon A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. Last season he sung Corrado in Vivaldi’s Griselda for Pinchgut Opera in Sydney under Erin Helyard. He has covered Fox/Coachman in The Adventures of Pinocchio for Opera North, Armindo in Partenope for Opera Australia, Roberto in Griselda for Pinchgut Opera, and Zelim in Vivaldi’s La Verita in Cimento and Licida in Vivaldi’s L’Olimpiade for Garsington Opera Festival. His roles at the Royal Academy of Music included Athamas Semele under Sir Charles Mackerras and Volano in Cavalli’s Il Giasone conducted by Jane Glover. He recently sang Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with Australian Ballet and plans include Messiah in Wellington, New Zealand.

Hannah Sandison

Hannah Sandison

Soprano

Drusilla

Soprano Hannah Sandison attends the Royal College of Music International Opera School under the tuition of Dinah Harris where she will begin her final year in September. Recent operatic performances include Metella La Vie Parisienne, Offenbach (RCM) Rosmene Imeneo, Handel (RCM) Drusilla L’incorinazione di Poppea, Monteverdi (RCM), Marenka The Bartered Bride, Smetana (BYO-cover) Marcellina Le Nozze di Figaro, Mozart (RCM) Pulcheria Riccardo Primo, Handel (RCM). Recent concert performances include Piacere Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, Handel with La Nuova Musica in the London Handel Festival, a recital in the Oxford Lieder Festival, an Elgar Room Recital at the Royal Albert Hall, a recital at the Rachmaninov Hall, Moscow and Membra Jesu Nostri, Buxtehude, with English Touring Opera. Hannah won second prize at the Dean and Chadlington Summer Festival Competition and, at the RCS, won the Governors Recital Prize for singing and a live broadcast and interview on BBC Radio Scotland. She holds the Stephen Catto Memorial scholarship at RCM and has been generously supported by The Cross Trust, the Ian Flemming Charitable Trust and Maidement Scholarship administered by the Musicians Benevolent Fund, The Countess of Munster Musical Trust scholarship, the Arts and Human Research Council performance award, and has recently been awarded a Caird Scholarship and Sybil Tutton award (MBF) for her final year of study. She looks forward to taking part in a Samling Scholars course in spring 2014.

John-Colyn Gyeantey

John-Colyn Gyeantey

Tenor

Arnalta

Hannah Pedley finds a vocal grandeur that only serves to emphasise the self-destructiveness of Ottavia’s increasing bitterness. As Poppea’s rejected lover, Michal Czerniawski’s frustrated Ottone maintains a mellifluous tone.

★★★★ The Guardian

Wonderful… Go for a masterclass in gender dynamics, psychological aggression and power play, possibly with a little insanity sprinkled in, and you will be in celestial bliss.

★★★★ Bachtrack

Excellent playing by the period orchestra, the Old Street Band.

★★★★ Sunday Express

Visits by English Touring Opera are always to be looked forward to, but this autumn it has surpassed itself with three baroque works, two of them masterpieces and the third a fascinating rarity, all performed by casts of astonishingly high calibre, and produced helpfully, resourcefully, with simple elegant sets, which are all that is needed, though they probably cost a thousandth as much as the eye-catching splurges that we often see in London.

The Spectator

Paula Sides (Poppea) and Helen Sherman (Nerone) sang beautifully, whether together or apart, as did Hannah Pedley, a class act as Nerone’s embittered wife, Ottavia.

Whatsonstage

Immensely enjoyable… If this is your first time to the opera, it is absolutely worth going to see.

A Younger Theatre

Beautifully sung.

Opera Britannia

The drama is compellingly conveyed thanks to clear direction, committed performances and Anne Ridler’s plain English translation.

The Stage

Among the standout perfomances on stage, note the name of Hannah Sandison – still studying at the Royal College of Music, yet vocally and dramatically compelling as the long-suffering Drusilla.

The Times

An intense evening, concentrated in its power whilst preserving something of the richness and variety of the original. Revival director Oliver Platt and conductor Michael Rosewell drew performances of remarkable depth from the cast and audiences on ETO’s UK tour are in for a highly satisfying treat.

Planet Hugill

Showing At

  1. Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music, London
    28th Sep 2013 - 7:30 pm
  2. Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music, London
    9th Oct 2013 - 7:30 pm
  3. Snape Maltings Concert Hall
    18th Oct 2013 - 7:30 pm
  4. Malvern Theatres
    25th Oct 2013 - 7:30 pm
  5. Theatre Royal Bath
    28th Oct 2013 - 7:30 pm
  6. Harrogate Theatre
    1st Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm
  7. Gala Theatre, Durham
    6th Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm
  8. Buxton Opera House
    8th Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm
  9. Cambridge Arts Theatre
    14th Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm
  10. Exeter Northcott Theatre
    21st Nov 2013 - 7:30 pm

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