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Monteverdi: L'Incoronazione di Poppea -- Glyndebourne [DVD] [2004] [2001]

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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  • Monteverdi: L'Incoronazione di Poppea -- Glyndebourne [DVD] [2004] [2001]
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Product details

  • Format: Classical, PAL
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: CLASSICAL
  • DVD Release Date: 26 April 2004
  • Run Time: 149 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00019HP1M
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,483 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Sir Peter Hall created this production of Monteverdi's sensuous masterpiece for Glyndebourne Festival Opera's 50th Anniversary season in 1984. L'Incoronazione di Poppea, first seen in Glyndebourne in 1962, was the first Baroque opera to be performed there and has been an important influence on the renewed current interest in early opera.

American soprano Maria Ewing gives a voluptous portrayal of the scheming Poppea, with Dennis Bailey as Nero and Robert Lloyd outstanding as the philosopher Seneca.

Cast: Poppea -- Maria Ewing
Nerone -- Dennis Bailey
Robert Lloyd -- Seneca
Drusilla -- Elizabeth Gale
Arnalta -- Anne-Marie Owens
The Glyndebourne Chorus, London Philharmonic Orchesta
Conducted by Raymond Leppard


Peter Hall's lavishly staged L'Incoronazione di Poppea celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Glyndebourne in 1984 with a performance of Monteverdi's most celebrated and also most controversial opera. The score is conductor Raymond Leppard's "enhanced" edition, which he had premiered at Glyndebourne back in 1962, fully scored for a large orchestra. Much debate circles around the forces appropriate for performing Monteverdi's decidedly minimalist work, but one thing at least is certain: it didn't sound anything like this in the 17th century! Never mind, however inauthentic it may be, Leppard's big and beefy orchestral updating--including a fulsome continuo group with pairs of harpsichords, organs and cellos, as well as lute, guitar and harp--supports the weighty melodrama nicely.

The singers, too, are full-bodied, led by a fruity Maria Ewing as Poppea (in various revealing outfits) sounding suitably seductive, and Dennis Bailey, oddly lovely of voice as Nero (one of the opera's controversial aspects is the heroic central role accorded to these two thoroughly wicked characters). Perhaps best of all is Robert Lloyd as Seneca, who not only boasts a profound, reverberant bass, but also looks the part under beard and toga. With an onstage chorus to lament him, Seneca's death scene is the most moving in the opera. Peter Hall's clever staging keeps the Olympians--Love, Fortune and Virtue--permanently watching from above as the venal humans below act out this tragedy of poisoned love. The no-frills DVD has subtitles in English, French, German and Spanish. --Mark Walker

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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This is a wonderful production of this great Opera. I do prefer these old fashioned productions rather than these modern rubbish ones. This is set in the right era with correct costumes and sets and I would recommend it to all Opera lovers. The cast is excellent and it is a spell binding production and well worth it, it also came quickly and was a good price to.
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Format: DVD
The sound quality is excellent, but if it is picture quality that is important to you, bear in mind it is 1984, and the picture is grainy.
The opening prologue is in the heavens which are in the upper perimeters of the stage. Up here the gods argue their respective merits, and keep an eye on the mortals, and even interfere with earthly events. Very effective.
Down on earth Dale Duesing as Ottone is a warm baritone, with a very pleasant tone. The guards who have a number of small singing roles are also very good.
Maria Ewing is absolutely terrific, she does seem to have the skill to get totally inside her character, and her voice throughout her range is brilliant
Dennis Bailey acts a good part as Nero, his tone and vibrato are not quite to my liking, but this is purely personal taste. I did find that the further into the production I got the less I noticed this.
Even more pleasure aurally is from mezzo Cynthia Clarey. A sad and haunting performance from a beautiful lady.
The front line is completed by Robert Lloyd as Senenca and Elizabeth Gale as Drusilla, perfect casting.
There are a number of set changes, and each is appropriate,so much so that one hardly notices, they look so right.
The chorus are in fine form, and both they, the soloists and orchestra are well balanced throughout.
There are some excellent support singers, and one small gripe is they are not credited on the sleeve. There is no booklet or programme bit synopsis and chapters on the sleeve.
If you want to find out who portrays the goddesses, roman guards and other important but well sung minor roles then wait until the end credits.
To summarize this production is traditional in set and costume, well acted and sung, and is an absolute pleasure.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning production on all levels! 8 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Maria Ewing is at her best! This production is profound, well sung and well acted. Naturally, the music and sound quality are also wonderful. Opera fans and novices alike will marvel at this Glyndebourne Festival Opera performance. See the Roman Emperor Nero and his equally amoral lover, the seductive Poppea, as they tread upon all that is Good. Even the just philosopher Seneca cannot escape their evil machinations. A must-see for classicists, historians, opera fans and anyone else who enjoys high quality theatrical performance. The brief introduction and excellent subtitles help in making this production an unforgettable opera experience.
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This should be in every opera fans library. 20 Feb. 2007
By Carmina - Published on
Maria Ewing is a friend of mine. I have always been thrilled by her performances. This performance is no different. She is stunning as is the entire cast and production. This should be in every opera fans library. But, more importantly, this DVD would be a great tool to turn new fans on to opera and how exciting and informative it can be when done correctly! Brava and Bravo!!!
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