|Doug Williams (photo:Kevin McDermott)|
Agrippina, written in 1710, is considered Handel's first operatic masterpiece and a surprising comic gem. The Opera Omaha production premieres an original edition of the opera prepared by conductor and early music specialist Stephen Stubbs.
|Agrippina cast: Hadleigh Adams, Peabody Southwell, Nathan Medley, Jamie-Rose Guarrine, Jennifer Rivera, Zachary Wilder and Douglas Williams (left to right)|
Claudio is sung by former model and rising superstar Hadleigh Adams. He established himself as a Handel singer to be reckoned with at the 2012 Merola Grand Finale when he performed “Somnus awake! ... Leave me loathsome light … More sweet is that name” from Handel's Semele with Suzanne Rigden and Erin Johnson. Later that year, Adams wowed critics and audiences in another early music piece when he portrayed Pollux in Rameu's Castor & Pollux with Pinchgut Opera in Australia. He also showed off some seriously gym-toned arms [see below].
The role of Claudio includes the great bass aria "Vieni, oh cara."
|Hadleigh Adams in Castor & Pollux|
His list of successful early music performances includes Purcell’s King Arthur with Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques, Handel’s L’Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato with Tafelmusik, Aeneas in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, Polyphemus in Handel's Acis and Galatea and Jesus in the recoring of Bach’s Johannes-Passion with the Yale Schola Cantorum. He can also be heard on the recording of Lully’s Psyché with the Boston Early Music Festival, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording of 2008.
The remainder of the cast includes the brilliant and gorgeous young mezzo Jennifer Rivera as Nerone, who is married to the prematurely retired barihunk Michael Rice. She'll be joined by Nathan Medley as Ottone, Zachary Wilder as Narciso, Jamie-Rose Guarrine as Poppea and Peabody Southwell in the title role of Agrippina.
Performances are February 14 and 16 and tickets are available online.