FULL AGRIPPINA Chicago 2023 Chicago Summer Opera
Information on the Performance
- Work Title: Agrippina
- Composer: Handel George Frideric aka Händel Georg Friedrich
- Libretto: Vincenzo Grimani    Libretto Text, Libretto Index
- Venue & Opera Company: Ganz Hall, Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois
- Recorded: July 12 & 15, 2023
- Type: Staged Opera Live
- Singers: Agnese Gallenzi, Mallory Bogle, Jung-An Chou, Kendra Lund, Kaisa Herrmann, Jiuxiao Wu, Sol Adam Lehman, Arthur Keast, Graham Day, Gregorius Valkenberg, Erin Chang, Lindsay Uhrich, Gavin Mason
- Conductor: Adriano Spampanato
- Orchestra: Chicago Summer Opera
- Stage Director: Cathy Dunn
- Costume Designer:
Information about the Recording
- Published by: Chicago Summer Opera
- Date Published: 2023
- Format: Streaming
- Quality Video: 4 Audio:4
- Subtitles: yessubs, ensubs
- Video Recording from: YouTube     FULL VIDEO
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS PERFORMANCE
Based on historical source material from the Roman Empire, our story opens with the manipulative and power-hungry Agrippina learning that her husband Claudio, the emperor, has died at sea. Agrippina immediately plans for Nerone, her son from a former union, to take power. Her first tactic is to separately exploit the passion that two men, Pallante and Narciso, have for her. She offers her love to each in exchange for their support of Nerone as emperor.
On the brink of Nerone’s ascent to the throne, though, it is discovered that Claudio is alive. What’s more, he has promised the throne to the valiant Ottone, who saved him at sea. The undeterred Agrippina is aware that these men share not only a friendship, but a common weakness: love for Poppea.
Agrippina manipulates Poppea, telling her that Ottone has offered her to Claudio in exchange for the throne. Poppea agrees to exploit Claudio’s feelings for her to take revenge on Ottone. Eager to be with Poppea, Claudio is convinced to publicly denounce Ottone and name Nerone as his successor. The perplexed Ottone can’t understand why he’s fallen out of favor with both Claudio and Poppea.
Agrippina, however, may have misjudged many of her would-be pawns. Pallante and Narciso realize they have been duped by Agrippina. Meanwhile, Poppea, conflicted about her role in Ottone’s downfall, tests his faithfulness. While Agrippina may have started as the puppet master, it is Poppea’s own counter-scheming that is able to bring the truth to light, with both maneuvering women getting what they want in the end.
The culmination of Handel’s formative years in Italy and a highlight of the Venetian Carnevale season when it premiered, Agrippina demonstrates the increased lyricism and melodic prowess that made Handel the toast of the Italian opera scene.