Passion, power fuel Opera Omaha's 'Agrippina'

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Posted: Saturday, February 15, 2014 12:00 am

Ah, Valentine's Day: love, lust and a remorseless thirst for power. If that third item doesn't seem in proper trajectory with Cupid's arrow, no matter. Opera Omaha's production of Handel's “Agrippina” at the Orpheum Theater Friday night served up a frothy concoction full of passion and desire — if not always of the romantic variety.

The story, complex to a labyrinthine (and soap opera) degree, involves Agrippina's efforts to make her son Nero the emperor of Rome — after first displacing Claudius, the current holder of the throne who also happens to be her husband. She accomplishes this power-hungry goal by casting a wide, manipulative net in which she ensnares anyone and everyone who might aid or hinder her, indifferent to the lives she destroys along the way.

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