The Coronation of Poppea (2022)

(L'incoronazione di Poppea)

Composed By: Claudio Monteverdi
Libretto By: Giovanni Francesco Busenello

Conducted By: Christopher Bagan
Direction By: Kim Mattice Wanat
Set Design By: Cindy Zuby
Costumer: Betty Kolodziej
Lighting Design by: Heather Cornick
Stage Managed By: Kate Chubbs
Choreography By: Marie Nychka
Assistant Set & Lighting Design By: Brock Keeler
Stage Carpenter, Backstage Crew: Anthony Hunchak, Kai Yakichuk
Assistant Stage Manager: Claire Thornton
Scenic Painter, Props Assistant, Assistant Stage Manager: Taylor Howell

Triffo Theatre at Grant MacEwan University
11110 104 Avenue NW, Edmonton

July 09, 2022 at 7:30pm
July 10, 2022 at 1:30pm
July 12, 2022 at 7:30pm
July 14, 2022 at 7:30pm

An early-music opera sung in Italian


Adult: $42
Senior: $35
Student $20

Single Tickets go on sale on June 1, 2002

Our 2022 Opera and Music Theatre Festival Passes are on sale now. 

Take advantage of discounted tickets when purchasing a pass. This show is included in two of our three passes.

Cast List     

Role July 9, July 12 July 10, July 14 Understudy
Poppea Camille Labonte Alexandra Morgan Sabrina di Battista
Fortune Taylor Burns Elaine Glinos  
Virtue Elise Parsonage Felicia Wilson  
Ottavia Sahara Adamitz Chihiro Yasufuku  
Amor Alice MacGregor Julia LoRusso Kristen English
Valletto / 1st friend of Seneca Anjelique Croteau Sarah Luedke  
Arnalta Madeleine Gutierrez Madeleine Gutierrez  
Drusilla (Lady-in-waiting to Ottavia) Alla Salakhova Anika Venkatesh  
Damigella/ Pallade - A maid in Octavia's Service Nicole Katerberg Kristen English  
Nerone Spencer VanDellen Rain Seran Senavinin  
Ottone Lauren Hope Kcenia Koutorjevski  
1st Soldier/Lucano/2nd friend of Seneca Cameron Mazzei Dmytro Herasymenko  
2nd Soldier/Liberto/3rd Friend of Seneca Nohl Egan/Renato Araujo/Huanyang Yin Nohl Egan/Renato Araujo/Huanyang Yin  
Seneca/Littore Nicholas Gryniewski   Kyle Simpson

Full Synopsis     

Act 1

Ottone arrives at Poppea's villa, intent on pursuing his love. Seeing the house guarded by the Emperor Nerone's soldiers he realises he has been supplanted, and his love song turns to a lament: "Ah, ah, perfidious Poppea!" He leaves, and the waiting soldiers gossip about their master's amorous affairs, his neglect of matters of state and his treatment of the Empress Ottavia. Nerone and Poppea enter and exchange words of love before Nerone departs. Poppea is warned by her nurse, Arnalta, to be careful of the empress's wrath and to distrust Nerone's apparent love for her, but Poppea is confident: "I fear no setback at all."

The scene switches to the palace, where Ottavia bemoans her lot; "Despised queen, wretched consort of the emperor!" Her nurse suggests she take a lover of her own, advice which Ottavia angrily rejects. Seneca, Nerone's former tutor, addresses the empress with flattering words, and is mocked by Ottavia's page, Valleto, who threatens to set fire to the old man's beard. Left alone, Seneca receives a warning from the goddess Pallade that his life is in danger. Nerone enters and confides that he intends to displace Ottavia and marry Poppea. Seneca demurs; such a move would be divisive and unpopular. "I care nothing for the senate and the people," replies Nerone, and when the sage persists he is furiously dismissed. Poppea joins Nerone, and tells him that Seneca claims to be the power behind the imperial throne. This so angers Nerone that he instructs his guards to order Seneca to commit suicide.

After Nerone leaves, Ottone steps forward and after failing to persuade Poppea to reinstate him in her affections, privately resolves to kill her. He is then comforted by a noblewoman, Drusilla; realising that he can never regain Poppea he offers to marry Drusilla, who joyfully accepts him. But Ottone admits to himself: "Drusilla is on my lips, Poppea is in my heart."

Act 2

In his garden, Seneca learns from the god Mercurio that he is soon to die. The order duly arrives from Nerone, and Seneca instructs his friends to prepare a suicide bath. His followers try to persuade him to remain alive, but he rejects their pleading. "The warm current of my guiltless blood shall carpet with royal purple my road to death." At the palace Ottavia's page flirts with a lady-in-waiting, while Nerone and the poet Lucano celebrate the death of Seneca in a drunken, cavorting song contest, and compose love songs in honour of Poppea. Elsewhere in the palace, Ottone, in a long soliloquy, ponders how he could have thought to kill Poppea with whom he remains hopelessly in love. He is interrupted by a summons from Ottavia, who to his dismay orders him to kill Poppea. Threatening to denounce him to Nerone unless he complies, she suggests that he disguise himself as a woman to commit the deed. Ottone agrees to do as she bids, privately calling on the gods to relieve him of his life. He then persuades Drusilla to lend him her clothes.

In the garden of Poppea's villa, Arnalta sings her mistress to sleep while the god of Love looks on. Ottone, now disguised as Drusilla, enters the garden and raises his sword to kill Poppea. Before he can do so, Love strikes the sword from his hand, and he runs away. His fleeing figure is seen by Arnalta and the now awakened Poppea, who believe that he is Drusilla. They call on their servants to give chase, while Love sings triumphantly "I protected her!"

Act 3

Drusilla muses on the life of happiness before her, when Arnalta arrives with a lictor. Arnalta accuses Drusilla of being Poppea's assailant, and she is arrested. As Nerone enters, Arnalta denounces Drusilla, who protests her innocence. Threatened with torture unless she names her accomplices, Drusilla decides to protect Ottone by confessing her own guilt. Nerone commands her to suffer a painful death, at which point Ottone rushes in and reveals the truth: that he had acted alone, at the command of the Empress Ottavia, and that Drusilla was innocent of complicity. Nerone is impressed by Drusilla's fortitude, and in an act of clemency spares Ottone's life, ordering him banished. Drusilla chooses exile with him. Nerone now feels entitled to act against Ottavia and she is exiled, too. This leaves the way open for him to marry Poppea, who is overjoyed: "No delay, no obstacle can come between us now."

Ottavia bids a quiet farewell to Rome, while in the throne room of the palace the coronation ceremony for Poppea is prepared. The Consuls and Tribunes enter, and after a brief eulogy place the crown on Poppea's head. Watching over the proceedings is the god of Love with his mother, Venere, and a divine chorus. Nerone and Poppea sing a rapturous love duet ("I gaze at you, I possess you") as the opera ends.