U of M opera students stage immoral tale

David Walsh
David Walsh directing students from the University of Minnesota Opera Theatre.
Photo by Michal Daniel

Claudio Monteverdi's "The Coronation of Poppea" is a story from ancient Rome with a big helping of intrigue, deceit, decadence and some unsavory characters. It follows the day in the life of Nero's courtesan, who uses her wiles to fulfill her ambitions.

The early baroque opera was Monteverdi's largest and grandest work. It was also the last for the composer known as the father of modern opera.

It's seldom staged because of its large cast, but director David Walsh says that presents greater opportunities for the young singers of the University of Minnesota Opera Theatre.

Walsh describes the opera as an immoral tale because wrong conquers in the name of love.

The University of Minnesota Opera Theatre presents "The Coronation of Poppea" April 10-13 at the Ted Mann Concert Hall.

Walsh and singers Emily Rakes, Rachel Ware, Timothy Bruett, Rebecca Fadell and James Barnett along with pianist Andrew Fleser came by the Minnesota Public Radio studios to sing a few selections from Monteverdi's opera and to share its story with host Alison Young.