C. Monteverdi Opera "The Coronation of Poppa"
The basis of the "Coronation of Poppa" Claudio Monteverdi laid an unusual story for his time. The composer for the first time uses for the libretto authentic historical events, the course of which is borrowed from the works of ancient Roman historians. That is why the "Coronation of Poppa" is considered the world's first opera on a historical plot.
The action of the play takes place in ancient Rome, in the first century AD at the court of the emperor Nero. Poppaea is Nero's lover. She is married to Otto, the emperor is married to Octavia. Poppaea dreams of becoming an empress, and there should be no obstacles on the way to her dream. She persuades Nero to get rid of the famous philosopher Seneca - he knows about their relationship and is friends with her spouse, and therefore can destroy them. By order of the emperor, Seneca kills himself. The life of the deceived "second halves" will end dramatically. But the opera will end with the wedding of Nero and Poppa.
At this event, Monteverdi decides to finish his work. But for the "happiness" of the main characters achieved by the bloody way, the payback was waiting. Historians tell of the tragic continuation of these events: a short time later Nero would strike pregnant Poppayu with a knife in the stomach, and only a few seconds would remain for her to live. The emperor himself would later commit suicide.
Curiously, the part of Nero, one of the most cruel and bloody despots in world history, was written for a soprano-eunuch. Today, such a composition decision seems paradoxical, but in the 17th century it was quite natural. In modern opera productions, the part Nero is performed by the tenor.