Real Heroes Deliver MasterpiecePress » August 8, 2014 »

Real Heroes Deliver a Masterpiece [English Translation]

Sulzbach-Rosenberg. The presenters of SRIMF-Concerts (Sulzbach-Rosenberg International Music Festival) have come up with something new this year. An opera offering - namely "The Coronation of Poppea", by Claudio Monteverdi. The roles were performed by singers from Stetson University Opera Theatre and West Chester University Opera Workshop.

Was there a need for scenery like the throne room of Nero, Poppea's garden or the villa of Seneca? For the Sulzbach performance, the confidence of the actors' successful singing paired with their dazzling acting abilities alone was enough.

With youthful freshness they present the ancient story: The Praetor Otho loves Poppea but she loves the Emperor Nero. Poppea shrewdly leaves her past behind and won't allow anything to halt her quest: to ascend the throne. Including Seneca, the philosopher! After his execution, nothing stands in the way of her coronation!

Monteverdi not only describes the lives and loves of high society. He also allows their pages and nurses to have their say. To be precise, it's the gods of Olympus pulling the strings. All for love! And so begins the story: The goddesses of fate argue who has greater power over mankind...

The audience was sitting so close to the action that they could almost touch the heroes. Reacting before, on and off the stage. In their decorative costumes, they mingle with the audience, using each hall entrance to their benefit for a theatrical performance. The many roles filled by the brilliant, young ensemble demonstrated performances that were good to fabulous.


Kristen Pavlic (Poppea), S. Danny O'Neill (Nero), Alexis Rowe (Octavia), Erin Coatney (Otho) lead the impressive lineup of singers. Ashley Nuñez (Drusilla), Russell Franks (Seneca), Stephen Ng (Arnalta), Haywood Dunston, Ryan Jenkins (in other roles) and the many other roles were all loved. Great applause for a great performance - just great opera!

Photo Captions

Top: The goddesses of fate as they argue who has greater influence over mankind.

Middle: Nero's mentor Seneca shows the Empress Octavia a little understanding, in the background a chambermaid.

Bottom: Poppea uses all her means to win the favor of Nero.