‹ Back to What's On The Coronation of Poppea

4 Oct - 29 Nov 2014

Claudio Monteverdi (1643)

New production

Based loosely on actual events in 1st-century AD Rome, The Coronation of Poppea charts the consuming erotic obsession of the Emperor Nero for the beautiful Poppea Sabina.  Ruthlessly sweeping aside anyone who stands in the way of their union – including Nero’s wife Octavia and the poet and philosopher Seneca – Nero and Poppea triumph over all their opponents and rejoice in one of the most sexually-charged love duets ever written.

The moral ambivalence of one of opera’s earliest masterpieces ensures that it remains to this day one of the most shocking and compelling.  Tim Albery, who directed a ravishing production of Handel’s Giulio Cesare for Opera North in 2012, has prepared a new performing version of a dramma musicale about which almost everything is disputed, including its authorship. 

A cast of superb singer-actors is led by the American mezzo soprano Sandra Piques Eddy (Poppea) and the British counter-tenor James Laing (Nerone).  The conductor is Laurence Cummings, one of Britain’s most exciting and versatile exponents of historically-informed performance.   

Free pre-show talks
Sat 11 October, Thu 30 October. Talks by Assistant Director Emma Black and Opera North Editor Stuart Leeks. Begins 1 hour before the performance. Limited capacity, book early on 0844 848 2700.

Sung in English
Performance lasts 2 hours 45 minutes

Production supported by Friends of Opera North

We have put together a playlist of iconic love duets across all musical genres as inspired by the final duet of The Coronation of Poppea.

What the critics say

Vividly enacted […] exerts some of the grisly fascination of an episode of The Sopranos or Breaking Bad. [...] Sandra Piques Eddy makes a sumptuous siren of a Poppea.

Daily Telegraph - Full Review ›

Inspired […] a knockout production by Opera North. James Laing as Nerone stands out for the expressive colouring of his singing and his soaring upper register. He is partnered by the gorgeously self-regarding Sandra Piques Eddy who sings Poppea with passion and precision.

What's on Stage - Full Review ›

A wonderfully fresh, accessible staging […] Laurence Cummings’ performing version is impeccably realised, led by harpsichord continuo. A pair of theorbos weave their magic, underscored by gamba and lirone.

The Arts Desk - Full Review ›

Tim Albery’s modern-dress production for Opera North is stunning. As Poppea, Sandra Piques Eddy is perfect: a dark-haired, diminutive minx whose voice is full of blandishments as seductive as the long furry cuffs on the sleeves of her silk gown.

The Observer - Full Review ›



To Move the Soul: Performing Poppea


Musical Director Laurence Cummings examines the authorship behind Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea and asks the question: does it really matter who it is by when the music moves your soul? Read More


  • Poppea Sandra Piques Eddy
  • Nerone James Laing
  • Ottavia Catherine Hopper
  • Seneca James Creswell
  • Ottone Christopher Ainslie
  • Drusilla Katherine Manley
  • Arnalta Fiona Kimm
  • Fortuna / Valletto Ciara Hendrick
  • Virtù Claire Pascoe
  • Amore Emilie Renard
  • Liberto Daniel Norman
  • Lucano Nicholas Sharratt
  • Famigliari Owen Willetts
  • Famigliari Warren Gillespie
  • Famigliari Dominic Barberi
Creative Team
  • Musical Director Laurence Cummings
  • Director Tim Albery
  • Set and Costume Designer Hannah Clark
  • Lighting Designer Malcolm Rippeth

Click on the venue below to plan your visit.

Leeds Grand Theatre

Find Us

46 New Briggate
Leeds Grand Theatre

Important Information

Box Office: 0844 848 2720 (calls cost 7ppm)

  • To access the Grand Theatre, there are six steps from the street up to the foyer or a wheelchair lift from the Grand Theatre Box Office to the foyer, and then lift access to the rest of the auditorium (excluding the Upper Balcony). Some areas of the auditorium do have steep stairs and may not be suitable for people with limited mobility. Please check with the Box Office. 
  • There are 6 wheelchair spaces: four in the Stalls and two in the Dress Circle.
  • There are accessible toilets at Stalls and Dress Circle levels. 
  • There is an infra-red system in operation for sound amplification. Headsets are available from the Grand Theatre foyer for a £5 refundable deposit. Please ask Box Office staff when booking for advice on the best seats to use this service. 
  • Support dogs are welcome in the auditorium and can be looked after on request. 
  • For refreshments, there are bars at Stalls, Upper Circle and Balcony levels.  

Choose from these fantastic pre-theatre dining options and make your experience complete!

The Alchemist

Opera North ticket holders can enjoy 20% off their food bill at The Alchemist. Located on the second floor of Trinity Shopping Centre, The Alchemist offers a fantastic menu and stunning views of Leeds City Centre. Not available Saturdays. 

Download Menu | Book online 


Manahatta is a recently opened bar and kitchen located on Merrion Street, just a minute's walk from Leeds Grand Theatre. Serving a fantastic New York inspired menu made with fresh local produce, guests will receive 20% off their food bill before 6.15pm with proof of ticket. Booking is required. 

Download Menu | Book online

North Bar

Opera North and Howard Assembly Room ticket holders can enjoy 10% off all drinks at New Briggate's finest craft beer hotspot — North Bar, just a stone's throw from Leeds Grand Theatre. 

Find out more 


Enjoy 15% off all food and drink at authentic Italian wine bar Veeno (Leeds branch only) on presentation of ticket for an Opera North performance. Excludes Fridays and Saturdays after 5.00pm. 

Download Menu | Book a table 

Veritas Ale & Wine Bar

Enjoy a special pre-opera meal at Veritas Ale & Wine Bar. Just a 5-10 minute walk from Leeds Grand Theatre, choose either two courses for £13.95 (£17.50 with a 175ml house wine) or three courses for £15.95 (£19.50 with a 175ml house wine). Available 5.00-6.30pm. Booking is required.

Download Menu | Book via email or call 0113 242 8094 and quote 'pre-opera menu'

Brasserie Blanc

Sample the fabulous pre-theatre menu at Brasserie Blanc and choose from two courses for £11.95 or three courses for £15.45, with a complimentary glass of fizz for Opera North ticket holders. Located just a 10 minute walk from the Leeds Grand Theatre. Available 12.00-6.30pm, Monday-Saturday. 

Download Menu | Book online or call 0113 220 6060

The Reliance

Just a 5 minute walk from Leeds Grand Theatre, The Reliance bar and dining room offers a fantastic pre-theatre menu. Choose from two courses for £14.45 or three courses for £18.90. Available 5.30-6.30pm, Monday-Saturday.

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Find Us

100 Grey Street

Important Information

Box office: 08448 112121


Free Parking in all City Council multi-storey carparks after 5pm.

The two closest car parks to Theatre Royal are the Oxford Street multi-storey (just behind the Laing) and the Dean Street multi-storey. Click here for more info.

There are two parking spaces for blue badge holders on Shakespeare Street and three on Hood Street. Most parking meters are free to Blue Badge Holders.


Alight at Monument Metro Station and follow the signs for the Theatre Royal. We are less than one minutes walk from the Metro entrance on Grey Street.

Travel free on the Metro with your theatre ticket (up to two hours before and after the performance) - simply retain your theatre ticket for inspection by Metro Staff.


The Theatre Royal is only ten minutes walk from Newcastle Central Station.

Salford Quays

Find Us

Pier 8
Salford Quays
M50 3AZ

Important Information

Box office: 0843 208 6000 

There is a passenger drop-off point immediately in front of The Lowry. Secure parking is available in The Lowry Outlet Mall multi-storey car park. There are designated areas for disabled parking on every level. 

The Lowry is accessible by train, tram and bus. http://www.tfgm.com/

From national railway stations, Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria you can travel to The Lowry by Metrolink tram. You can board an Eccles line tram and should alight at Harbour City, or Media City UK for trams which stop there, as this is slightly closer.

More info: http://www.thelowry.com/plan-your-visit/getting-here/


Find Us

Theatre Square

Important Information

Box Office: 0115 989 5555

Find access details for Nottingham Theatre Royal

By Car

Follow signs for the city centre and the 'Royal Zone'. Nearest car parks are Talbot Street car park and Crowne Plaza Hotel car park on Wollaton Street.
For maps and information about on-street parking, off-street car parks, park and ride and the blue badge scheme please visit Parking In Nottingham

By Bus

For bus times call Nottingham City Transport on 0115 950 6070, Traveline on 0871 200 2233 or visit www.travelineeastmidlands.co.uk   Find out about our £1 return bus ticket here.

By Tram

 The 'Royal Centre' tram stop is directly outside the venue and runs every 10 minutes until midnight. There are five Park and Ride sites along the route. Visit www.thetram.net or call 0115 942 7777 for full details of the tram route. Find out about our £1 return tram ticket here.

By Rail

Nottingham Station is a 15 minute walk or a short taxi or tram ride from the venue. Call 0845 748 4950 or www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times and fares. 


Discover exciting pre-theatre dining options for Nottingham Theatre Royal

What you say

Comment from Colin Yarnley


Colin Yarnley said ago

Just returned from Nottingham's Poppea performance. Absolutely wonderful. More baroque please!
I used to sing counter-tenor. The new generation is incomparably better in range and expressive range than mine - as James Laing proved superbly tonight.

Comment from Oonah V Joslin


Oonah V Joslin said ago

Wonderful! This was beautifully presented, played and sung -- in English -- every word annunciated clearly, every emotion perfectly executed to the music -- and to my utter delight, humour. Thank you, Thank you Opera North! for a thoroughly entertaining and thought provoking evening.

Comment from Tim Hills


Tim Hills said ago

Superb. Beautifully sung, played, acted and produced. The casting chemistry was wonderful. Lully, Rameau, Charpentier, Desmarest next? Daydreams are pleasant ...

Leave a comment

Restaurant deals

Veritas Ale & Wine Bar

Enjoy a special 2 or 3 course meal at Veritas Ale & Wine Bar. To make a reservation, please call Veritas Ale & Wine Bar and quote 'Opera North': 0113 2428094.

Download menu


Brasserie Blanc

The extraordinary chefs of Brasserie Blanc have teamed up with Opera North to create a special pre-theatre menu for those looking to dine in style. After all, a night at the opera is never complete without an exquisite meal to accompany it. And how could we forget to mention the complimentary glass of bubbly upon arrival!

Offer: For just £20 per person, you'll receive a perfectly crafted 3-course dinner and a glass of sparkling wine to tingle your taste-buds! Located just a 10-minute walk from the Leeds Grand Theatre, patrons can enjoy a leisurely meal before a fabulous evening of opera.

To make a reservation, please call Brasserie Blanc and quote 'Opera North': 0113 220 6060
Download Menu Dates valid: now - 5 November