the prologue, Fortune, V´rtue and Love debate the strengths
of each of these qualities, setting the stage for the opera
Rome, Anno 65, Emperor Nero has taken Poppea as his mistress,
to the great displeasure of Ottone, who is in love with her.
Ottavia, Nero's wife, is comforted by the nurse Arnalta and
the philosopher Seneca. After Nero announces that he will discard
Ottavia and marry Poppea, Seneca accuses him of insanity, while
Poppea's insinuations to Nero that Seneca is after his throne
results in the Emperor sentencing the philosopher to death.
Ottone, again rejected by Poppea, resolves to kill her and starts
to woo the courtier Drusilla.
commits su´cide; Nero celebrates, while Ottavia persuades Ottone
to kill Nero. He borrows Drusilla's clothes, but when he steals
into the Emperor's bedroom, Love prevents him from the murderous
is arrested for the attempted murder. She protests her innocence,
but when Ottone tries to admit his guilt, she protects him by
admitting her part in the plot. The Emperor, unsure of the real
culprit, exiles both of them, as weil as Ottavia. Poppea's coronation,
watched over by Love and the other three deities, concludes