Story & Setting:
Intrigue, tyranny, and impropriety abound in this new production of Handel’s tale of ancient Rome. Set in “present day,” this piece is given a racy update to highlight the current-day parallels found in the power-hungry actions of historical Roman figures such as Agrippina, Nero, Poppea and Claudius.
This opera is one of Handel’s earliest, and like many of his stage works includes a role written for a castrato singer. In present day, these roles are generally sung by either a mezzo-soprano or a countertenor. For this production, the opera’s first at the Met, we see both a countertenor and a mezzo-soprano in male roles, giving us a variety of vocal colors. While set in the standard opera seria form of the time, the piece is really more of a satirical comedy. It was extremely well-received at its premiere, leading to an unprecedented 27 consecutive performances in Venice in 1709.
* This production contains mature material, including substance abuse and some sexual content, and is recommended for ages 17+.
3 hours & 45 minutes
George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
“Come nube che fugge dal vento” (Kate Lindsay)
Current Met Production
"Pensieri, voi mi tormentate" (Joyce Di Donato)
Current Met Opera production