[Ann Hallenberg (Agrippina) and Elena Tsallagova (Poppea) sharing a “Belle Maman” moment in Händel’s “Agrippina” as staged by Mariame Clément, Gent 2012. – Photo Credit: Annemie Augustijns for Vlaamse Opera]
Agrippina, a soap opera. Thank you, Mariame Clément. And thank you, artistic management, for casting the two leading ladies and the two leading lads with an all-female line-up: Ann Hallenberg (Agrippina), Renata Pokupic (Nerone), Elena Tsallagova (Poppea) and Kristina Hammarström (Ottone).
My Agrippina Hall of Fame is growing: Kasarova. Connolly. Now Hallenberg. You’d like to have dinner with their Agrippinas, but you know each of these Agrippinas would have your bones on a plate before dessert. Not that we would mind.
Not this this Poppea seems to mind, either!
Meanwhile, this blogger fancies Kristina Hammarström. In a leather jacket.
Or that leather jacket, and dinner with Hallenberg’s Agrippina? – I am not sure.
Why yes, it’s the original Clarissa (Agrippina), scheming to drive Marlene (Poppea) into the arms of her ambitious protegé Tristan (Nerone), while doe-eyed Rebecca (Ottone), complete with her leather jacket and motorcycle, pines for Marlene in the shadows – and gets the girl in the end. (which is kind of what happened on the show. Well, I guess it’s called soap opera for a reason.)
The evil matriarch about to pay off the unwanted suitor, with her own boy already lurking in the wings? – Check. (bonus points for the helmet)
Apropos evil scheming matriarch – you can leave your hat on.
Rivals for the lady’s affection in a duel? – Check.
Press conferencing with both suitors? – Check.Leather jacket and secret glances? – Check.
Evil handyman sipping evil cognac, worried lovers in a dangerous spot, plus flannel shirt? – Check.
…leather jacket owner gets the girl in the end? – Check.
[Photo Credits: all images of Agrippina by Annemie Augustijns/Vlaamse Opera; all images of Verbotene Liebe ARD Das Erste/Grundy UFA]