March 14, 2005

Stage set for Monteverdi opera

Alumni Month Events

The California State University, Sacramento music department’s fully-staged opera production, L’Incoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppea), is scheduled to run for four performances at 8 p.m., Friday, April 1, Thursday, April 7 and Saturday, April 9. A 2:30 p.m. matinee will be performed on Sunday, April 3. All performances are in the University Theatre in Shasta Hall.

Graphic of The Coronation of Poppea

Alumnus and professional lutenist Michael Leopold will return from Milan, Italy to perform in the opera, playing accompaniments for the all-student singing cast. He has performed in the opera professionally several times.

Composed by Claudio Monteverdi in the 17th century, the opera about Roman emperor Nero’s love affair with courtesan Poppea is generally the earliest one in modern companies’ repertoire, and is still widely performed around the world. With no surviving original manuscript, modern opera directors must make due with the two oldest, yet conflicting records.

“Each musical director will come up with a different version of Poppea, and our version will probably never be duplicated again,” says Sacramento State lecturer John Dornenburg, musical director for the opera.

Leopold, playing the bass lute called a theorbo, and other on-stage musicians will improvise their accompaniments each night, in keeping with Baroque performance practices. A second small string orchestra, with added recorders and trumpets, will be composed of mostly University students.

Poppea will be presented under the musical direction of Dornenburg with stage direction by Sacramento State professor Lynn Stradley.

Tickets are $15 general and $10 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at the CSUS Ticket Office at (916) 278-4323 or Tickets.com. For additional information, contact Stradley at (916) 278-7980. For media assistance, contact public affairs at (916) 278-6156.

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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 • infodesk@csus.edu