Monteverdi has been called the "Oracle of Music" and his Poppea, though 380 years old, has surprisingly modern traits, with a depth and passion reminiscent of our own times. The music brilliantly captures Nero's tyrannical hysteria and Poppea's irresistible sensuality. Both words and music are used to achieve superb dramatic effects in a dazzling combination of comedy and tragedy.
This production by Calixto Bieito was first seen at the Opernhaus Zürich in 2018 and has been one of the most successful shows of recent seasons. Acclaimed by both audience and reviewers, it owes part of its magic to Rebecca Ringst, whose set design brings the audience closer to the stage than ever before. The obsessive, supremely vain characters inhabit a glamorous world of infinite self-praise and self-indulgence which is reflected in the video screens that dominate the stage.