Emmanuelle Haim conducts this new DVD of Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea, which was recorded in 2012 at the exquisite opera house in Lille, France. First performed in 1643, Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea tells the story of Poppaea (the mistress of the Roman emperor Nerone) who, in an unlikely turn of events, is eventually crowned empress. The French director Jean-Francois Sivadier takes a relatively minimalist approach to this production, with the characters clad in an eclectic mixture of modern and Ancient Roman dress. Nerone, depicted as an almost punk-like figure with peroxide blond spiky hair, is portrayed by star countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic. Poppea is sung by the glamorous Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva, who won Plácido Domingo's Operalia competition in 2010 and is a former member of William Christie's academy for young singers, Le Jardin des Voix. Emmanuelle Haim is renowned as a conductor of vocal works in historically informed performances. She began her career studying piano with Yvonne Lefébure and then organ with Andre Isoir. She came to focus on the harpsichord, which she studied with Kenneth Gilbert and Christophe Rousset, and was awarded five first prizes at the Paris Conservatoire. As a continuo-player and musical assistant, Haim spent time at a number of opera houses acquiring an exceptional knowledge of the Baroque and Classical repertoire through her work with William Christie, Sir Simon Rattle and Daniel Harding, among others. Emmanuelle Haim regularly works as a guest conductor and has appeared with orchestras including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and the Glyndebourne Festival Opera.