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Mark Mandel
Opera News, July 2012

MONTEVERDI, C.: Incoronazione di Poppea (L’) (Norwegian National Opera, 2010) (NTSC) 2058928
MONTEVERDI, C.: Incoronazione di Poppea (L’) (Norwegian National Opera, 2010) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) 2058924

I’ve seen hundreds of opera videos and never one more riveting.

Soprano Birgitte Christensen, a lush-voiced, attractive, buxom Poppea, sings well…Jacek Laszczkowski commands the stage as a demented, sadistic Nerone; his body language and his virtuoso “soprano countertenor,” with its discomfiting, hooty tone, vividly convey the emperor’s instability and lunacy. Mezzo-soprano Patricia Bardon as Ottavia and contralto Tone Kruse as Nutrice are vocally and visually superb. Nearly as outstanding are countertenor Tim Mead (Ottone), sopranos Marita Sølberg (Virtù, Drusilla) and Ina Kringlebotn (Fortuna), bass Giovanni Battista Parodi (Seneca) and tenors Emiliano Gonzalez-Toro (Arnalta), Magnus Staveland (First Soldier, Lucano) and David Fielder (Second Soldier, Valetto). © 2012 Opera News Read complete review

Jeffrey Kauffman, April 2012

L’Incoronatione di Poppea…is a unique and at times very thought provoking production, one which gussies up the proceedings in modern dress…as well as an intriguing production design, not only with regard to the minimal set design but perhaps most expressively to the tweaking of the video content. The singing and playing here are mostly top notch, with Christensen making an appealing…Poppea and Laszczkowski a forceful if perhaps unhinged Nero.

the image here is rather excellently sharp, and fine detail can be quite convincing, especially in close-ups. The monochromaticism along with the pushed contrast does rob the image of some fine detail, that can’t be denied, but that gives the proceedings a decidedly unique visual twist that makes this production a one of a kind experience, for better or worse.

…the audio hear is quite exceptional, with full, round bodied tones and excellent balance between the vocalists and the Orchestra of the Norwegian National Opera under the direction of Alessandro de Marchi…

…this is a well sung and played presentation that highlights the larger than life emotions on display while forsaking none of Monteverdi’s own inherent structure and approach. This release…comes Recommended. © 2012 Blu-ray Read complete review

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11:44:59 AM, 9 October 2015
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