Bare Opera's New Production Presents a World with No Morality, Only Power & Desire
Bare Opera brings a fresh, condensed take on Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea to New York City on November 16, 17, and 18.
By: Bare Opera
"Stripped down to the bare essentials of human lust, the set consists of three beds around which all the action revolves," says director David Paul (LA Opera, Lyric Opera Chicago, Metropolitan Opera).
"This production of Poppea marks a huge leap for Bare Opera this season. The content of Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea is visceral, dark, and overtly sexual. The audience will be immersed in these highly intimate - sometimes uncomfortable - moments. This is definitely a production that will leave people thinking about morality and humanity," elaborated Executive Producer and Co-Founder of Bare Opera, Kirsten Scott.
The scenes of sex and violence are written into the score. The formal trappings of Baroque or traditional opera are completely absent, despite the piece having originated in the 17th century, making it ideal for exploration through a 21st century lens. Although its first performance occured in 1643, the piece has a haunting and striking immediacy.
The production features a talented young cast and creative team. The cast of ten singers includes leading emerging performers in all realms of opera, including Maria Lacey as Poppea (as lauded by Steven Blier: "Maria simply has one of the most free and colorful soprano voices they're ever likely to hear"); Ariadne Greif as Nerone (praised by the NY Times for "one of the most searingly painful and revealing operatic performances of recent times..."); and Briana Elyse Hunter as Ottavia (hailed by Opera News as " a mezzo-soprano of astounding vocal and dramatic range").The production also features Christian Isaiah Simmons as Seneca, David Charles Tay as Arnalta, Alexandra Smither as Drusilla, Vivien Shotwell as Ottone, Anne Marie Stanley as Valetto, Max Potter as Damigella, and Timothy Stoddard as Lucano and Liberto. Learn more about the cast here: http://www.bareopera.org/
Acclaimed conductor and baroque specialist David Moody (Glimmerglass, Juilliard) leads a period instrumental ensemble for the production. Alongside Conductor Moody, Bare Opera's Music Director and Co-Founder Laetitia Ruccolo has assembled the brilliant period ensemble that brings this baroque music to life. Alison Pogorelc, assistant stage manager, directs alongside David Paul.
Continuing its collaborations with diverse artists beyond the world of classical music, Bare Opera has teamed with costume designer Sara Tosetti (LA Opera, Glimmerglass, BAM) , who creates an urban, 21st century aesthetic for the production. Bare Opera has also joined forces with George Del Barrio of The Vanderbilt Republic as a co-producer. Lighting designer Anthony Tornambene returns for his fourth production with the company.
For more information about Bare Opera and its new production of Poppea as well as interview opportunities with the cast and creative team, please contact Kirsten Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org or (508) 254-8579.
Bare Opera produces innovative interpretations of operas in intimate venues, where audiences can sit back and experience the raw, visceral power of the human voice and drama. Featuring some of the greatest emerging talent in opera, the company presents standard repertoire as well as hidden gems of the operatic canon such as Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortilèges and Granados' Goyescas.
Bare Opera pushes the boundaries and perceptions of opera. In L'Enfant et les
Sortilège, the company collaborated with artist Alexandra Posen and a team of
Minecraft builders to create a Minecraft motion graphics set, reinventing the story in a contemporary child's make-believe virtual world. In its most recent production, La Cambiale di Matrimonio, Bare Opera took what is typically brushed off as a silly operatic plot — an Englishman trying to sell his daughter's hand in marriage — and connected it to the struggles of women who continue to be forced into marriages today. Through daring reinterpretations of operas and the opera experience itself, Bare Opera strives to be an active agent of change in the cultural landscape of opera and classical music, and help create a sustainable future for the art form.