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$24 General Admission, $21 Member,$15 child age 14 or younger

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Handel’s tale of intrigue and impropriety in ancient Rome receives its first Met performances, with star mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato as the controlling, power-hungry Agrippina and Harry Bicket conducting. Sir David McVicar’s production ingeniously re-frames the action of this black comedy about the abuse of power to “the present,” where it should loudly resonate. The all-star cast features mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey as Agrippina’s son and future emperor Nerone, soprano Brenda Rae as the seductive Poppea, countertenor Iestyn Davies as the ambitious officer Ottone, and bass Matthew Rose as the weary emperor Claudius.

Agrippina is one of the oldest operas that the Met has ever presented. And yet in many ways, it is surprisingly modern. Keates aptly describes the plot as “a wickedly satirical comedy of sex, politics, and female ambition.” The smarter and more ruthless women—Agrippina and Poppea—dominate, while the male characters—Claudio, Ottone, and Nerone—are frequently their helpless dupes. Always ready to convert any obstacle to her advantage, Agrippina is the most fully drawn and multi-faceted character. Poppea is a younger schemer-in-training, but by the end of the opera, she is able to outwit even Agrippina. “Handel never loads the dice,” Dean writes. “He views all the characters dispassionately with a tolerant eye, observing, never judging.”

Please be aware that this production of Agrippina, although containing no nudity, includes some suggestive adult content that may not be suitable for young audiences.

“The Met Opera is Handel’s house in Agrippina … A vivid new production … Played with electric vividness, and starring a guns-blazing Joyce DiDonato … Bold, snicker-out-loud funny, magnetic … Conducting from the harpsichord, Harry Bicket kept the pace crisp and headlong … The singers were fearless … A devilish delight … Handel died more than 250 years ago, but at the Met he seems more vital than ever.”
– New York Times
“Ebullient high spirits … Rollicking … DiDonato embodied Agrippina with ferocity and pinpoint accuracy.”
– Wall Street Journal
“Joyce DiDonato is rapturous in Agrippina … It’s a joy to have another Handel opera at the Met.”
– Financial Times