Juilliard Opens Its Opera Season with Monteverdi's "L'incoronazione di Poppea" on November 17, 19, and 21 in Juilliard's Peter Jay Sharp Theater

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Harry Bicket
Harry Bicket


Juilliard opens its opera season with Claudio Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea (libretto by Giovanni Francesco Busenello) on Wednesday, November 17 and Friday, November 19 at 8 PM with a Sunday matinee on November 21 at 2 PM in Juilliard's Peter Jay Sharp Theater (155 West 65th Street). The production, which will be performed in two acts and sung in Italian with English supertitles, features singers from the Juilliard's Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts and musicians from Juilliard Historical Performance. The opera is directed by Edward Berkeley and conducted by Harry Bicket with set design by John Kasarda, costume design by Kim Krumm Sorenson, and lighting design by Kate Ashton.

Tickets to L'incoronazione di Poppea are $30 and available beginning October 13 at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard. Half-price tickets for students and seniors are available only at the Box Office; TDF is accepted. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 6 PM. For further information, call (212) 769-7406 or go to www.juilliard.edu.

The opera, which had its premiere in 1643 in Venice, is set in ancient Rome. It tells the story of how Poppea, mistress of the Roman Emperor Nerone (Nero), is able to achieve her ambition and be crowned Empress of Rome.

The cast features Juilliard singers Haeran Hong (Poppea), Naomi O'Connell (Ottavia), Cecelia Hall (Nerone), Daniel Curran (Arnalta), and Devon Guthrie (Drusilla), and guest artists Liam Moran (Seneca) and Nick Zammit (Ottone).

The roster of Juilliard Historical Performance musicians includes: Liv Heym and Abigail Karr (violins), Kim Mai Nguyen (viola), Beiliang Zhu (cello), Andrew Arceci (gamba), Douglas Balliett (double bass), and Jeffrey Grossman (organ). Joining the Historical Performance musicians for the opera performances will be guest artists Richard Kolb, Daniel Swenberg, and Charles Weaver on the theorbo, and Christa Patton on Baroque harp.

Edward Berkeley is director of undergraduate opera studies at Juilliard and teaches Shakespeare at Circle in the Square Theater. He is artistic director of New York's Willow Cabin Theater Company, where he directed the Tony Award and Drama Desk-nominated Wilder, Wilder, Wilder and productions for which he received numerous awards. Mr. Berkeley directed Beatrice and Benedict at the New York Philharmonic and John Adams' El Niño with the Atlanta Symphony and at Ravinia. He also has directed at the Library of Congress, Williamstown Theater Festival, and Old Globe Theater. As director of the Aspen Opera Theater Center, Mr. Berkeley has directed classics as well as new operas by Bright Sheng, Augusta Read Thomas, Michael Torke, Mark-Anthony Turnage, and Bernard Rands. In New York, he directed Juilliard's premiere of New Rorem's Our Town, Thomas Adès' Powder Her Face and The Kaiser from Atlantis (which he also directed in L.A., Miami, Houston, Spoleto and at Ravinia).

Internationally renowned as an opera and concert conductor of distinction, Harry Bicket is especially noted for his interpretation of the Baroque and Classical repertoire; in September 2007 he took up the position of artistic director of The English Concert, one of the U.K.'s finest period orchestras. Born in Liverpool, he studied at the Royal College of Music and Oxford University and is an accomplished harpsichordist. The 2010-11 season includes appearances with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Los Angeles, Baroque Band and St. Paul Chamber Orchestras, and opera productions for Chicago Lyric (Hercules), Minnesota (Orfeo), Canadian Opera (Orfeo), as well as extensive concert and touring projects with The English Concert. Future plans include return visits to orchestras, such as Chicago Symphony Orchestra and opera productions for Bordeaux Opera, Canadian Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, and several for the Metropolitan Opera in New York.


About the Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at Juilliard

One of America's most prestigious programs for educating singers, The Juilliard School's newly-named Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts offers young artists programs tailored to their talents and needs. From bachelor and master of music degrees to advanced artist diploma programs in voice and opera studies, Juilliard provides frequent performance opportunities, featuring singers in its own recital halls, on Lincoln Center's stages, and around New York City. Juilliard Opera has presented numerous premieres of new operas as well as works from the standard repertoire.

Juilliard graduates may be heard on recordings and in opera houses and concert halls throughout the world; diverse alumni artists include well-known performers such as John Aler, Julie Boulianne, Sasha Cooke, Faith Esham, Simon Estes, Renée Fleming, Anthony Dean Griffey, Barbara Hendricks, Hei-Kyung Hong, Isabel Leonard, Ana María Martínez, Susanne Mentzer, Leona Mitchell, Leontyne Price, Florence Quivar, Neil Rosenshein, Emalie Savoy, Risë Stevens, Tatiana Troyanos, Shirley Verrett, Veronica Villarroel, Robert White, and Jennifer Zetlan, among others.


About Juilliard Historical Performance

Juilliard's Historical Performance program enters its second year and welcomes 11 new students this fall to the program, bringing the total number of students enrolled in the program to 24. The program is open to master of music degree and graduate diploma candidates and offers comprehensive study focusing on music from the High Baroque through the Early Classical eras. The performance-oriented curriculum fosters an informed, vital understanding of the many issues unique to period instrument performance with the level of technical excellence and musical integrity for which Juilliard is renowned. Joint projects and collaborations with the School's Dance and Drama Divisions and Vocal Arts program, and with modern instrument students outside of the Historical Performance program, are encouraged.

The master of music degree program requires a two-year residency; the graduate diploma program with a major in Historical Performance is a two-year, non-degree course of study. Along with weekly lessons and frequent performances, the curriculum also includes core classes covering a broad range of issues related directly to performance, including style and interpretation, historical and cultural contexts, analytical methods and treatises, historical dance, improvisation, continuo improvisation/figured bass reading, and ornamentation. Guest residencies are an important part of the Historical Performance program's annual schedule, as are master classes with experts from around the world.



Music by Claudio Monteverdi

Libretto by Giovanni Francesco Busenello

Featuring singers from Juilliard's Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts and musicians from Juilliard Historical Performance

The opera will be performed in two acts and sung in Italian with English supertitles.

Wednesday, November 17 and Friday, November 19 at 8 PM, Sunday, November 21 at 2 PM

Juilliard's Peter Jay Sharp Theater, 155 West 65th Street

Director: Edward Berkeley

Conductor: Harry Bicket

Set Designer: John Kasarda

Costume Designer: Kim Krumm Sorenson

Lighting Designer: Kate Ashton


Poppea: Haeran Hong

Ottavia: Naomi O'Connell

Nerone: Cecelia Hall

Ottone: Nick Zammit

Arnalta: Daniel Curran

Seneca: Liam Moran

Drusilla: Devon Guthrie

Tickets are $30 and available at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard (155 West 65th Street) or through CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500. Half-price tickets available for students and seniors; TDF accepted only at the Box Office. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 6 PM. For further information, call (212) 769-7406 or go to www.juilliard.edu.