The Metropolitan Opera: Agrippina
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts/Metropolitan Opera House, New York - Main Hall
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About the Event
Experience opera like never before in this astonishing performance of masterworks by Händel at New York's remarkable Metropolitan Opera House.
Georg Friedrich Händel
An English subject with German origins, Georg Handel was truly a musical pioneer, combining musical traditions of English, Italian and German composers. He was born in 1685 in Halle, Germany, into a very religious and conservative family. His father was dreaming for his son to become a lawyer and would not let young Georg play musical instruments at home. But the Duke Johann Adolf accidentally heard him playing in the chapel and convinced Georg's father to let his son receive a musical education. Thus, Handel became a pupil of the famous organ player and composer Friedrich Zachow.
The first success came to Handel in 1705 when he moved to Hamburg and staged his two premiere operas, Almira and Nero, in the Oper am Gänsemarkt. Almira immediately became a highlight of the theatre and was performed around 20 times. Later next year Handel moved to Italy were he received high acclaim and was put on the same level as renowned Italian composers of the time. In 1710 Handel travelled to London where later he decided to settle down. There he wrote a sacred choral piece 'Te Deum' that was played in St. Paul´s Cathedral at the ceremony devoted to signing the Utrecht Treaty. From that moment onwards he became the leading composer of England, as the country did not have any native prominent composers. His oeuvre was mainly focused on operas, but by 1730 the genre of Italian opera ceased to be popular and Handel´s success dwindled. During the last years of his life until his death in 1759 he was mainly composing oratorias, including his famous and magnificent Messiah.
The Emperor Claudius is reported to be dead. His significant other Agrippina decides to make her child Nerone the new Emperor. Her arrangements go amiss when Claudio turns up alive with his military officer Ottone, who spared his life and to whom he has guaranteed the throne. Agrippina plots to utilize the two men's longing for the lovely Poppea to make ill will among them and obliterate Ottone. However, Nerone turns out to be genuinely stricken with Poppea's beauty as well.
Agrippina's plotting prompts numerous misunderstanding and comflicts, coming full circle in Claudio and Nerone each endeavoring a romance with Poppea simultaneously. Who will be considered responsible in this delightful opera about power, love and loss.
Approximate duration (min.): 225
- Händel, Georg Friedrich Agrippina
Program is subject to change