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Drew Michael Brennan Dr.

Hung Music Historiography 1 Fall 2012 Lincoronzaione di Poppea at the Santa Fe Opera The Santa Fe Opera has become one of the worlds leading opera festivals. Its mission is to advance the operatic art form in the highest quality possible while making these works relevant to modern audiences. If the Santa Fe Opera house were to put on a production of Monteverdis Lincoronzaione di Poppea it would be nothing less than a riveting, and possibly life changing experience at the opera. The sets would be incredibly beautiful, and compelling. They would transport the audience directly in the middle of the story. The interpretation would not stray far from Monteverdis original intentions. There would, however, be evident an effort to make the story more relatable to the audience of today. Let us focus specifically on two different scenes to show you what I mean. Act 3, Scene 6 is an incredibly emotional scene. Ottavia, Neros wife, sings her farewell to Rome after being banished by Nero in her aria, Addio Roma. The only people on stage for this aria would be Nero, Ottavia, and two of Neros soldiers. The actress playing Ottavia would be a middle-aged soprano with black hair. Her make up would be sickly pale, with apparent wrinkles. She would stand upstage right looking out into the audience with a heavy heart and distraught countenance. The lightening for this scene would be ghastly white. There would be

one spotlight on Ottavia as the music begins. As she is in the middle of singing the aria another spotlight would shine on Nero so the audience could fully comprehend Neros reaction to banishing the woman he once called his wife. Nero would be of the highest spirits. Her robes would be black with dark red garments around her neck. This is to represent the hatred that has grown in Ottavias heart. The throne room would be utterly extravagant. The throne would be fifteen feet in height, and shine with gold. The throne room itself would be engorged with purple and gold curtains representing the stature of Nero. Down the throne room would be statues of the Gods of Rome. As the aria came to a close, the light on Nero would slowly fade as Ottavia falls to her knees while singing the last few measures of this heart wrenching aria. The light in the opera house grows dimmer and dimmer as the aria comes to its end. Leaving only the light from the environment filling the house. Then finally, as Ottavia finishes her aria two soldiers of approach her. They then escort the banished empress to her exile. Act 3, Scene 9 brings us to the beautiful love duet Pur Ti Miro which ends the opera. This love duet is sung between Nero and Poppea. Nero and Poppea would be cast by fairly young artists from the Apprentice Programs that Santa Fe Opera runs. The Santa Fe Opera runs a world renowned Apprentice Program. John Crosby, the founder of the Santa Fe Opera said, "In this country young artists have to do something which is impossible gain experience. But with our plan, these young people will be scheduled in small roles and will have the opportunity of working with their older brothers and sisters who have already won their spurs. To get such experience now, a young artist has to go to Europe.

Poppea would be an extraordinarily beautiful young soprano. She would be either blond or light brunette, have the body of a ballerina, and be fair skinned. She would have the most innocent looking facial features and dress humbly throughout the opera. Nero would be played by a beautiful young soprano as well. However, she will have more masculine qualities about her. She will wear a white wig, and be wearing a purple suit. In this scene the Consuls and Tribunes escort Nero and Poppea into the throne room for the coronation. The throne room is astonishing. It is filled with white carpets and curtains with gold trimming on the end of the curtains. As they sing the love duet they move downstage together while holding hands. The Consuls and Tribunes are silent behind them, listening to the enchanting duet. Nero and Poppea stand together and stare deep into each others eyes as the duet continues. The lightening for the scene is softened white lights. There are in the background ballerin as that begin dancing to the ravishing duet between these two lovers. As the duet come to an end Poppea bows to Nero, and Nero to Poppea. Then they share a kiss which closes the opera. These are just two examples of how I believe the Santa Fe Opera would present Monteverdis Lincoronzaione di Poppea. This Opera company would not disgrace the beauty, and the relevance of this work.