The Coronation of Poppea

L’Incoronazione di Poppea
L’Incoronazione di Poppea
Teatro Verdi di Pisa
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Love, Fortune and Virtue: which of them is sovereign and influential on the fate of man? The compelling story of Nero and Poppea, between unbridled thirst for power and court intrigues, moral ambiguity and carnal passion told in the last great masterpiece by Claudio Monteverdi will demonstrate the supremacy of Love. 

Thirty years after the first and only performance on the Pisan scene, The Coronation of Poppea, considered the first melodrama on a historical subject, returns to the Teatro Verdi in a new staging in the refined vision of Pier Luigi Pizzi, absolute name of the Italian theater, that signs direction, lights and scenes, and with the direction of Antonio Greco, baroque of value, at the head of the Orchestra Monteverdi Festival - Cremona Antiqua.  

Third title of the Opera Season 2023-24 and co-production of the Fondazione Teatro di Pisa, Fondazione Teatro Ponchielli di Cremona, OperaLombardia and Teatro Alighieri of Ravenna, the Coronation of Poppea will be on the Pisan stage on Friday 12 January (8.30 pm) and Sunday 14 (3.30 pm). 

As is customary, before the performance, the Theatre offers the public a moment of introduction and deepening with the Opera Guide that will be conducted by the artistic director Cristian Carrara and will be followed by an aperitif offered by the Foundation.  Master Pier Luigi Pizzi will present You can never be calm. Storie di vita e di teatro (EDT), the book with its memories that go through a little less than a century of history of Italian theatre and beyond. The appointment is for Thursday, January 11 at 18 in the Ridotto del Teatro. 

Tickets on sale at the Box Office of the Theatre, telephone service (050.941188) and online on

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Judged best work of 2023 by the sole24ore magazine, in its dramaturgical and musical profiles, the new staging of this famous title presents some news: the suicide of Octavia, exiled empress, who does not stand the pain of repudiation pierces her belly with a knife, and the execution of the Venetian version with the instrumental refrains of the Neapolitan manuscript. 

The score of Poppea’s Coronation is now known in two versions: the Venetian manuscript, found in 1888 in the Biblioteca Marciana in Venice, and that of its Neapolitan revival in 1651, whose text was found in 1929 among the volumes of the Library of the Conservatory of Naples. 

Performed for the first time in Venice, in the Teatro dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, for the Carnival of 1643 (Claudio Monteverdi will die after the first performance), this title is based on the libretto by Giovan Francesco Busenello inspired by the Annales di Tacito and the Octavia, tragedy attributed to Seneca. Claudio Monteverdi composed The Coronation of Poppea at the end of his life, at 76, and musicologists recognize, especially in the finale, the intervention of other authors: Benedetto Ferrari for the text and Filiberto Laurenzi for the Music.  

380 years after its first performance, The Coronation of Poppea still involves today thanks to a compelling plot and blood characters and fans. In the title role will be Roberta Mameli, Nerone is played by Federico Florio; in the other roles will be engaged José Maria Lo Monaco (Ottavia), Enrico Torre (Ottone), Federico Domenico Eraldo Sacchi (Seneca), Candida Guida (Arnalta), Chiara Nicastro (Drusilla). Among others, Amore, Fortuna and Virtù will be interpreted by Paola Valentina Molinari, Giorgia Sorichetti and Francesca Boncompagni. 

The story flows between unbridled ambitions, crimes and a sensuality that arouses wonder, also taking into account the costumes of the seventeenth-century Venice.  The story takes place in Rome, at the time of Emperor Nero, around 62 A.D. and begins with a quarrel between Love, Fortune and Virtue over who has the greatest influence on human beings. Ottone discovers that Poppea is the lover of Nero who intends to repudiate Ottavia. Seneca advises him not to do so and Poppea asks for her death. The philosopher commits suicide. Ottavia asks Ottone to kill Poppea: Poppea obeys and disguised as Drusilla, Ottavia’s nurse and in love with him, enters where Poppea is sleeping but Amore saves her by waking her.  Drusilla is accused of attempted murder and admits her responsibilities to the emperor, who has found a pretext to repudiate Ottavia.  She is forced into exile while Nero and Poppea can finally get married and Poppea is crowned. Love has won.

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