The 2009 Incoronazione with Sarah Connolly as Nerone, Maite Beaumont as Ottavia and Miah Persson as Poppea with Harry Bicket conducting (Torontonians will remember his Orfeo from this past season) has recently been posted on YT in its entirety and it’s easy to predict it won’t stay there for too long. It was first shown in July on a Catalan TV channel and simultaneously live-streamed online. Anik alerted to its transmission, but due to diligent geo-blocking of the said live-stream I didn’t manage to see it. (And I tried all manner of proxy tricks.)
So I bump into this today, and of course first check the Nerone-Poppea duetti and for the very first time I don’t find myself thinking, “Agh, I’d rather listen to the Otter-Minkowski rendition”. Nothing’s lacking with this Nerone Connolly. Niente. Nulla.
Stage direction… well… What can I say. Another one in which Nerone and Poppea don’t sing to each other but to the audience. “Tornerai?” asks Poppea the audience. “Tornerò,” replies Nerone to the audience. But hear what they musically do with their Addios in that first duetto, and (almost) everything’s forgiven. (Including the Elena Ceauşescu costume for Ottavia’s first aria.)
The WNO-Bayerische-Liceu production starts here but you might as well start from your favourite place. I start here: