An opera brings passion, betrayal and violence to the stage.
The Coronation of Poppea is an opera from the Baroque period that is about a Roman emperor, “Nero,” who has fallen in love with a women named “Poppea.” After, Nero divorces and banishes his wife to make Poppea his empress. The production focuses on Poppea’s desire to be the empress, which leads to betrayal and violence.
“It’s like a Shakespearian play,” said Karen Miller, director of the opera and assistant director of OCU’s Oklahoma opera and music theater program. “It involves passion, betrayal, violence, and it’s sexy.”
Nicholas Haas, musical theater/vocal performance freshman, plays Nero in the production.
“Nero is quite fun to play, and has many different dynamics to explore as far as history and character development are concerned,” Haas said. “With him I get to explore places I have yet to with any other character, which I love.”
The opera utilizes a lot of their musical theater training as well as acting, especially in Miller’s interpretation, so it challenges the cast, said Siobahn Gale, music theater senior, who plays Poppea.
“There’s just so much going on,” Gale said. “There’s intrigue, there’s bits of love, there’s betrayal, there’s murder, there’s ambition, so it’s been a challenge for us I think, but it’s been an exceedingly fun character to play.”
The production runs at 8 p.m. Friday, March 6 and Saturday March 7 and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 8, in Burg Theater in Kirkpatrick Fine Art Center. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at the ticket box office or at okcu.edu/tickets.
“A lot of people who don’t usually see operas should definitely see this one,” said Carly Sinclair, vocal performance junior who also plays Poppea. “The music is really, really beautiful. We don’t usually put on a lot of Baroque operas at this school, but Baroque to me is like the jazz of opera. It is less set and leaves room for interpretation.”