At the centre of events is the power-crazed Poppea. She aspires to the top level of the hierarchy and seduces Emperor Nero. He is totally captivated by Poppea and does everything possible to marry her, even if it leads to murder. A classic drama unfolds, where the struggle for power and riches paints an unattractive portrait of humankind. In this respect not much has changed since the opera was written 365 years ago. The performance portrays the decadence of the late Roman Empire -- with obvious parallels to our own times. But it all comes together towards the end in one of the loveliest duets ever composed, "Pur Ti Miro".