Opera Atelier: The Coronation Of Poppea

Additional photos from Opera Atelier's production of Claudio Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea playing at The Elgin Theatre.

Soprano Peggy Kriha Dye is terrific as the sensual, scheming Poppea. Previously she was nominated for a Dora Award for her role in Opera Atelier's Idomeneo.

Bass Baritone Olivier Laquerre plays Ottone, in love with Poppea but driven to attempt her murder by the jealous Empress Ottavia.

The interplay between Michael Maniaci's Nero and Poppea is laced with hot sensual moments, but also dark shadings and foreboding. Based on the true infamous story of the Roman courtesan, Nero in fact ended up brutually murdering Poppea just four years after her ascencion to the highest position of Empress depicted in this opera.

Lighting Designer Kevin Fraser bathes the entire production in heavily gelled lighting that mimics a Renaissance painting. It's almost as if the opera is being performed by candle light. While beautiful to the eye, photographically this is a bit of a torture test for the camera's white balance as even a custom white balance reading off white or grey elements of the set fails to completely compensate for the heavy warming effect. It's always a bit of an adventure shooting Opera Atelier.

One of the reasons I often recomend Opera Atelier to visitors interested in attending opera for the first time is the variety of arts disciplines in each production. In addition to the operatic performance, you have the always excellent Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra providing the orchestral and choral element, and productions are enhanced by the artists of the Atelier Ballet lending a choreographic interpretation to the piece.

The Coronation Of Poppea plays at The Elgin Theatre April 25, 26, 28, 29, May 1 & 2.

Photographed with the Olympus E30 with Digital Zuiko 50-200mm 2.8 lens

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