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Witness one of the most famous comedies written by George Frederic Handel at the Metropolitan Opera this season! Set in ancient Rome and featuring a breathtaking score, it tells the story of a woman who plots the downfall of the Roman Empire. This production boasts a stellar cast that includes mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato playing the role of Agrippina and conductor Harry Bicket.

why you should watch agrippina

George Frederic Handel is one of the most prolific and successful writers for opera. He has created numerous Italian operas. The characters in Agrippina, such as Emperor Claudius and a band of political schemers, would lead one to expect a far more serious tone. There is also Agrippina herself, sister to the notorious Emperor Caligula, and the fourth wife to Claudius. With events such as assassination by poison, and a vicious blame-game, it would be impossible to fathom a comedy out of all this. Yet, Handel takes all of this and creates an entertaining comedy, handling the characters in an effortless manner. It is a beautiful satire on the events, keeping it fresh, while still having masterfully composed music that is intense and emotional. It first premiered on World of Opera in 1710. Agrippina is often considered to be Handel’s masterpiece by modern critics.

This latest production of the black comedy is the first-ever revival at the MET. It stars Joyce DiDonato, a celebrated mezzo-soprano, who plays the dominating Agrippina. It also features Kate Lindsey, the famous mezzo-soprano, as Agrippa’s son, Nerone. This production by Sir David McVicar is graced by the immaculate conducting of Harry Bicket.

The Story

Despite being based on true events, and historical personalities, the story is quite loose with the accuracy of the events, to create a more entertaining and comical atmosphere. The story begins with Agrippina hearing that her husband, Emperor Claudius has passed away during a vicious storm at sea. She beings working on a scheme to put her son Nero, who is from a former marriage, on the throne. She puts her plan into action and nearly tastes success. However, on the eventful day of Nero’s ascension, the ceremony is interrupted by a messenger. He delivers the news that Emperor Claudius is in-fact alive, saved by Otho! Will Agrippina achieve her ambition, or will Emperor Claudius have his way? Find out in this wonderful opera!

Good For

Fans of Classical Comedies | Lovers of Handel


“There probably isn’t a more technically accomplished mezzo than DiDonato currently on the planet.”

cancellation policy

These tickets can't be cancelled or rescheduled.

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Show Details

Show Timings

6th, 13th, 17th, and 25th of February, and 3rd of March 2020 7:30 PM
22nd February and 7th March 2020 8:00 PM
9th February 2020 3:00 PM
29th February 2020 1:00 PM

3 hours and 45 minutes, including one intermission

Leading Roles
Brenda Rae as Poppea
Joyce Didonato as Agrippina
Kate Lindsey as Nerone
Matthew Rose as Claudio
Duncan Rock as Pallante
Iestyn Davies as Ottone

Produced by
Sir David McVicar

Conducted by
Harry Bicket

Set Design
John MacFarlane

Choreographed by
Andrew George

Additional Information

Suitable for ages 8 and up.

Available Facilities
In-house Bar
Wheelchair Accessible
Coat Check

The MET Opera has a seating capacity of 3,800.

Outside Food
Strictly prohibited. If you'd like to grab a meal before or after the show, check out our guide to the 30 Best Restaurants in the Theater District.

Dress Code
Smart and casual wear is recommended. Keep in mind, the theatre is air conditioned throughout the year and can get a bit chilly.

Important Information
Photo and video recording are not allowed during the show.

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Theater Address

Metropolitan Opera House, 30 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023, USA

Getting There

By Subway

Get off at 66 St - Lincoln Center Subway Station using lines 1 or 2. The Metropolitan Opera House is just a 5-minute walk from here.

By Bus

Get off at Broadway/W 64 St using buses M5 or M7 or at Broadway/W 63 St using bus M104. The theatre is located across the street to the left. Alternatively, get off at Amsterdam Av/W 62 St using bus M11. The theatre is located on the right.


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