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Monteverdi milestone for Hampstead Garden Opera

The company is set to perform L’Incoronazione di Poppea in its original Italian

27 April, 2017 — By Sebastian Taylor

Hampstead Garden Opera produced Monteverdi’s Orfeo in 2012. Photo: Laurent Compagnon

Hampstead Garden Opera is marking next month’s 450th anniversary of the birth of Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi by putting on his great masterpiece, the opera L’incoronazione di Poppea.

The production is opening for 10 perforemances at Jackson’s Lane Community Centre, Highgate, on Wednesday May 12.

“For HGO, performing this wonderful work is a very important milestone, coinciding with the 450th anniversary of Monteverdi’s birth on May 18,” says music director Oliver John Ruthven. “This is the first time the HGO is performing an opera in its original Italian language, other than English, accompanied by translations on our new surtitles system.

“In doing this, we’re aiming to provide a more authentic experience for our audiences. But it also reflects our status as an opera training company seeking to give our singers a complete experience of performing opera.”

L’Incoronazione di Poppea, the last of Monteverdi’s three surviving operas, occupies an elevated position in the history of the genre. The darkly sexual masterpiece of text setting and musical invention was conceived at a time when opera was very new.

Period instrument group Poetica Musica is playing at the HGO production conducted by Oliver John Ruthven. Director is Simon Iorio who regularly works as an assistant director at the Royal Opera House, Glynbourne Opera and as opera director for London music conservatoires.

L’incoronazione di Poppea is being performed by Hampstead Garden Opera at Jacksons Lane Theatre, Highgate, N6 5AA: Evenings at 7.30pm – May 12, 13, and May 16-20; matinées at 4pm – Sundays May 14 and 21; matinée at 2.30pm – Saturday May 20. Tickets: unreserved £27 / premium seats £22, (concessions £20 – May 12, 13). Box office: 0800 411 8881,

Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers are being performed next Monday (May 1) evening at St Dominic’s, Southampton Road, NW5 4LB. Performing the piece are accomplished singers supported by the Camerata of Curiosities trio and His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts. St Dominic’s, Sourthampton Road, NW5 4LB, 1pm, front rows £25/standard £15

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