Rhinegold Photo credit: James Cheadle

Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras announce plans to mark Monteverdi’s 450th anniversary

1:58, 4th May 2016

The Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras will tour Monteverdi’s three surviving operas to mark the composer’s 450th anniversary in 2017.

The ensembles will present L’Orfeo, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria and L’incoronazione di Poppea in concert performances. They will also perform the Vespers at Basilica dei Frari, Venice, as well as working alongside musicologists and experts in Monteverdi during the anniversary year.

The ensembles will tour from April to October 2017 to the UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain, Italy and USA.

Highlights include Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s first performance of Il ritorno d’Ulisse (10 April), appearances at the Berliner Festspiele and Lucerne Festival, and a performance of the complete trilogy at La Fenice (16-21 June).

The following singers will join the tour in 2017: Krystian Adam, Hana Blazíková, Francesca Boncompagni, Gianluca Buratto, Robert Burt, Michal Czerniawski, Peter Davoren, Yulia van Doren, Anna Denis, Francisco Fernandez-Rueda, Silvia Frigato, Kangmin Justin Kim, Lucile Richardot, Gareth Treseder, Carlo Vistoli, John Taylor Ward, Zachary Wilder and Furio Zanasi.

Academics to participate in the Monteverdi 450th anniversary project include Rodolfo Baroncini (Conservatorio di Adria), Lorenzo Bianconi (University of Bologna), Tim Carter (University of North Carolina), Davide Daolmi (University of Milan), Paolo Fabbri (University of Ferrara), Iain Fenlon (King’s College Cambridge) and Carlo Lanfossi (University of Pennsylvania).

‘The full unchanging gamut of human emotions – bewildering, passionate, uncomfortable and sometimes uncontrollable – form the subtext of all of Monteverdi’s surviving musical dramas,’ says Gardiner, who formed the Monteverdi Choir more than 50 years ago with a performance of the composer’s Vespers.

‘By performing the trilogy in consecutive performances we hope to take audiences on a voyage – from the pastoral world to the court and the city, from myth to political history, from innocence to corruption, from a portrait of man subject to the whim of the gods, to a hero imprisoned by his human condition, and finally to a dual portrait of mad lovers, uncontrolled in their ambition and lust.

‘Who is the true victor in the end?  Perhaps the music.’


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