Saturday, February 2, 2008

University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Opera, "The Coronation of Poppea."

We also attended the performance which Gregory G. H. Rihn reviews.
The UWM production seemed it was not quite sure what direction to take. There were attempts to "naughty" it up a bit, with Poppea slinking around in her nightgown for most of the show, and some gratuitious bathing-suit scenes for Octavia's servants. Arnaulta has a "bathtub" scene, attended on by two more men in swimming trunks. Nero receives the news of Seneca's death reclining in bed in shirt and boxer shorts, accompanied by his "intimate friend" the poet Lucan (Kerry Kuplic); the two of them appear to be sharing a "joint". The set was an attractive Roman villa front that acted as the street in front of Poppea's house, Seneca's garden, or the Palace as needed. However, costumes for the mortals were rather a hodgepodge of modern dress (soldiers wearing some of the same desert-camo fatigues we saw in "L'Ormindo") with the gods in classical draperies.

... The crossdressed roles of Nero and Arnaulta were provided with very convincing makeup, hairstyle and costume, but could have benefited from a bit more movement coaching.
Charlie Sykes posted on Juno, A Remarkable Movie. Among the remarks,
Some "pro-choice" advocates are quite upset about its portrayal...
Based on some conversation heard during intermission at The Coronation of Poppea, someone sitting near us had similar objections.

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