Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea From the Paris National Opera

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Monteverdi's 'The Coronation of Poppea' at the Palais Garnier opera house in Paris.

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Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea proves that passion was plentiful in the opera house long before Verdi and Puccini hit the scene — and that virtue doesn't always win out in the end. The opera portrays an illicit love so strong that it threatens to bring down an empire and is accompanied by one of the steamiest love-duets ever composed.

World of Opera host Lisa Simeone presents The Coronation of Poppea in a production from the Paris National Opera at the Palais Garnier opera house. The stars, who sing the famous duet, are mezzo-soprano Karine Deshayes as Poppea, and tenor Jeremy Ovenden as Nero, in a performance led by conductor Rinaldo Alessandrini.

Poppea: Karine Deshayes (mezzo-soprano)
Nero: Jeremy Ovenden (tenor)
Otho: Varduhi Abrahamyan (mezzo-soprano)
Octavia: Monica Bacelli (mezzo-soprano)
Drusilla: Gaëlle Arquez (mezzo-soprano)
Seneca: Andrea Concetti (bass)
Cupid: Amel Brahim-Djelloul (soprano)
Arnalta: Manuel Nunes Camelino (tenor)

Concerto Italiano
Rinaldo Alessandrini, conductor