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Penguin Guide, January 2009

Filmed at the Schwetzingen festival in 1985, the EuroArts version offers a period performance, crisply conducted by Arnold Östman, best known for his work at Drottningholm in Sweden. Michael Hampe’s production involves handsome baroque sets by Mauro Pagano and traditional costumes. Agrippina is an opera written for Venice in 1709–10, set in the early years of Imperial Rome, with Agrippina the centre of intrigues, opposed by another great manipulator, Poppea. Barbara Daniels is agile, strong and bright in the title-role, with Janice Hall first rate as Poppea. The snag of the performance is that two of the principal castrato roles, those of Nero and Narciso, are here taken by baritones instead of counter-tenors, reflecting the date of the production (before period performance was fully accepted).






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