From the Rococo Theatre in Schwetzingen, Germany As part of the 1993 Schwetzingen Festival (Schwetzinger Festpiele) Dramma in musica in the form of a Prologue and Three Acts Text by Giovanni Francesco Busenello, based on Tacitu's "Annals" Patricia Schumann - Poppea Richard Craft - Nerone Kathleen Kuhlmann - Ottavia Harry Peters - Seneca Jeffrey Gall - Ottone Darla Brooks - Drusilla Curtis Ryam - Arnalta Dominique Visse - Nutrice Michael Hampe - stage design Concerto Köln - orchestra René Jacobs - conductor Go to part 2: youtu.be/zUe8xZ8WozA Subscribe: goo.gl/jrui3M 1993 marks the three hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Monteverdi's death, and the Schwetzingen Festival, in cooperation with the Cologne Opera, is presenting a new production of the composer's masterpiece ‘L'incoronazione di Poppea’ ('The Coronation of Poppea'), a key work in operatic history, being given its premiere at the historic Schlosstheater in Schwetzingen. Monteverdi (1567-1643) can actually be regarded as the founder of European opera. In his "Poppea”, for the first time ever in the history of opera, he chose history rather than mythology as his subject matter: the intrigues at the Emperor Nero's court reach their climax in his mistress Poppea's yearning for power. Exile and political murder all help pave the way towards the imperial throne for the courtesan Poppea. The psychological differentiation in the libretto is intensified by means of highly effective musical portraits. With this opera, which was first performed in Venice in 1642, Monteverdi set standards for Baroque opera that were far ahead of their time, revealing an operatic aesthetic anticipating that of Mozart. The premiere in the Schlosstheater at Schwetzingen is being musically arranged and directed by René Jacobs, one of the world's leading Baroque music specialists. The producer is Michael Hampe, who achleved great success most recently with his production of Monteverdi's 'Ulysses' for the Salzburg Festival. Young Italian artist Graziano Gregori will be taking care of stage and costume design.