L'incoronazione di Poppea

BOA features Monteverdi's most beloved opera: L'incoronazione di Poppea


La Fortuna - soprano

La Virtù - soprano

Amore - soprano

Poppea - soprano

Nerone - soprano

Ottavia - soprano

Ottone - mezzo-soprano

Drusilla - soprano

Nutrice - mezzo-soprano

Arnalta - mezzo-soprano

Pallade - soprano

Venere - soprano

Famigliari Prima - mezzo-soprano

Valletto - soprano

Damigella - soprano

Soldato Primo / Famiglari Secondo / Lucano - tenor

Soldato Secondo / Console / Liberto Capitano - tenor

Mercurio / Tribuno / Famiglari Terzo - bass

Seneca / Littore - bass

July 1st - July 30th

BOA is proud to present it's season with L'incoronazione di Poppea - a musically rich opera by Claudio Monteverdi

Why perform it?

This is a perfect opera for younger singers, it's instantly employable, performed throughout Germany, and the opera offers a fine balance of all aspects of the program.


Two versions of the musical score of L'incoronazione exist, both from the 1650s. The first was rediscovered in Venice in 1888, the second in Naples in 1930. The Naples score is linked to the revival of the opera in that city in 1651. Both scores contain essentially the same music, though each differs from the printed libretto and has unique additions and omissions. In each score the vocal lines are shown with basso continuo accompaniment; the instrumental sections are written in three parts in the Venice score, four parts in the Naples version, without in either case specifying the instruments. The work helped to redefine the boundaries of theatrical music and established Monteverdi as the leading musical dramatist of his time.


L'incoronazione di Poppea was first performed at the Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice, as part of the 1642–43 carnival season. The date of the first performance of L'incoronazione and the number of times the work was performed are unknown; the only date recorded is that of the beginning of the carnival, 26 December 1642. A surviving scenario, or synopsis, prepared for the first performances, gives neither the date nor the composer's name. The identity of only one of the première cast is known for certain: Anna Renzi, who played Ottavia. Renzi, in her early twenties, is described by Ringer as "opera's first prima donna".