sun 21/07/2024

The Coronation of Poppea, King's Head Theatre | reviews, news & interviews

The Coronation of Poppea, King's Head Theatre

The Coronation of Poppea, King's Head Theatre

Mark Ravenhill directs surprisingly good jazzed-up Monteverdi in a pub

Young sopranos Jessica Walker (Nero) and Zoe Bonner (Poppea) in one of their many sexy turns
When OperaUpClose's bar-side production of La bohème beat the ENO and Royal Opera House to the Olivier Awards' Best New Production gong earlier this year, it was hard - even in these award-sceptical parts - not to delight in the David versus Goliath-like nature of the victory. State funds and high-profile support has since beefed up this fragile dinghy of a venture. One new fan, Mark Ravenhill, was invited to direct Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea. Another, Michael Nyman, was asked to write an intervention aria. Could these artistic stars halt a recent spate of post-bohème production missteps?

When OperaUpClose's bar-side production of La bohème beat the ENO and Royal Opera House to the Olivier Awards' Best New Production gong earlier this year, it was hard - even in these award-sceptical parts - not to delight in the David versus Goliath-like nature of the victory. State funds and high-profile support has since beefed up this fragile dinghy of a venture. One new fan, Mark Ravenhill, was invited to direct Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea. Another, Michael Nyman, was asked to write an intervention aria. Could these artistic stars halt a recent spate of post-bohème production missteps?

But this tiny little company has resolved one of the great operatic problems of the past 300 years. And for that it deserves a visit

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