John Eliot Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir & English Baroque Soloists Celebrate Monteverdi at 450, with Seven-Month International Tour of Composer’s Three Surviving Operas (April–Oct 2017)

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John Eliot Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir & English Baroque Soloists Celebrate Monteverdi at 450, with Seven-Month International Tour of Composer’s Three Surviving Operas (April–Oct 2017)

 

Although Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643) has long been recognized as the father of opera, only three of his contributions to the form survive. Next year marks the 450th anniversary of the Venetian master’s birth, and to celebrate this musical milestone, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, the Monteverdi Choir, and the English Baroque Soloists have announced an ambitious international tour, with concert performances of all three operas – L’Orfeo, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, and L’incoronazione di Poppea – in the UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, and the USA, between April and October of 2017. The tour will launch in Aix-en-Provence, where Gardiner – the winner of more Gramophone Awards than any other living artist – looks forward to leading Ulisse for the first time in his distinguished career. Additional European highlights include complete operatic trilogies in Paris and Bristol, as well as at the Berliner Festspiele, Lucerne Festival, and Venice’s La Fenice, before the tour culminates with accounts of all three operas in multiple cities across America. In honor of the anniversary, Gardiner has been chosen to grace the cover of BBC Music early next year; as the magazine recently blogged: “It will be an exciting 2017, not just for music-lovers, but for Gardiner too, … who continues to stretch the boundaries of early music.”

Over the centuries since their creation, Monteverdi’s operas have lost none of their power. Gardiner explains:

The full unchanging gamut of human emotions – bewildering, passionate, uncomfortable and sometimes uncontrollable – form the subtext of all of Monteverdi’s surviving musical dramas. More often than not, he shows a deep empathy for his characters – including the less salubrious ones – just as his contemporary Shakespeare does. Both reveled in juxtaposing tragedy with lowlife comedy. Both men lived on the cusp of exciting, and dangerous, cultural worlds.

“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.”

Although the conductor has yet to tackle Ulisse, he, the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists have already made definitive Deutsche Grammophon recordings of both other operas. Starring Sylvia McNair, Anne Sofie von Otter, and Michael Chance, their 1996 Poppea was chosen for inclusion in the Penguin Guide to the 1,000 Finest Classical Recordings, while their 1987 L’Orfeo, with Anthony Rolfe Johnson and Anne Sofie von Otter, “is regarded as a benchmark achievement” (Guardian). More recently, Gardiner and the ensembles won similar accolades for L’Orfeo in live performance. Their rendition at DC’s Kennedy Center last spring was hailed as “a wholly involving evening of drama and music at the highest level” (Washington Post), and at London’s BBC Proms last summer, the Telegraph critic reported: “[Gardiner’s] mastery seems effortless. … A capacity audience was clearly enthralled, as I was.”

The tour was announced during an intensive weeklong workshop, or “Accademia Monteverdiana,” in Venice’s glorious Fondazione Giorgio Cini, where Gardiner and his forces were joined by a number of leading Monteverdi scholars. Several of these academics will continue to work with the musicians over the course of the anniversary year, which also sees the ensembles return to Venice for a reprise of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, the choral masterpiece for which Gardiner first founded the Monteverdi Choir more than half a century ago.

Details of the singers, academics, and tour dates are provided below, and high-resolution photos may be downloaded here.

www.monteverdi.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/monteverdichoirandorchestras

https://twitter.com/mco_london

https://www.instagram.com/monteverdi_choir_orchestras/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBYbc4_3QJ9YEhXJtCTVO0A

John Eliot Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir & English Baroque Soloists present

Monteverdi at 450: International tour, April–Oct 2017

Surviving operas of Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643)

  • L’Orfeo (1607)
  • Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (1639-40)
  • L’incoronazione di Poppea (1642-43)

Singers:

Krystian Adam

Hana Blažíková

Francesca Boncompagni

Gianluca Buratto

Robert Burt

Michal Czerniawski

Peter Davoren

Yulia Van Doren

Anna Dennis

Francisco Fernández-Rueda

Silvia Frigato

Kangmin Justin Kim

Lucile Richardot

Gareth Treseder (Monteverdi Apprenticeship Programme alum)

Carlo Vistoli

John Taylor Ward

Zachary Wilder

Furio Zanasi

Academics:

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

Carlo Lanfossi, University of Pennsylvania

Tour dates:

April 10

Aix-en-Provence, France

Grand Théâtre

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (1640)

April 12

Bristol, England

Colston Hall

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (1640)

May 3

Barcelona, Spain

Palau de la Música

Monteverdi: L’incoronazione di Poppea (1642)

May 8

Bristol, England

Colston Hall

Monteverdi: L’incoronazione di Poppea (1642)

May 31

Bristol, England

Colston Hall

Monteverdi: L’Orfeo (1607)

June 16–18

Venice, Italy

La Fenice

Monteverdi: L’Orfeo (1607)

June 20

Venice, Italy

La Fenice

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (1640)

June 21

Venice, Italy

La Fenice

Monteverdi: L’incoronazione di Poppea (1642)

Aug 23

Lucerne, Switzerland

Lucerne Festival

Monteverdi: L’Orfeo (1607)

Aug 25

Lucerne, Switzerland

Lucerne Festival

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (1640)

Aug 26

Lucerne, Switzerland

Lucerne Festival

Monteverdi: L’incoronazione di Poppea (1642)

Sep 2

Berlin, Germany

Berliner Festspiele

Monteverdi: L’Orfeo (1607)

Sep 3

Berlin, Germany

Berliner Festspiele

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (1640)

Sep 5

Berlin, Germany

Berliner Festspiele

Monteverdi: L’incoronazione di Poppea (1642)

Sep 16

Paris, France

Philharmonie

Monteverdi: L’Orfeo (1607)

Sep 17

Paris, France

Philharmonie

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (1640)

Sep 18

Paris, France

Philharmonie

Monteverdi: L’incoronazione di Poppea (1642)

Oct 12–21

USA tour

Full trilogy in multiple cities; details TBA

Further dates for full trilogy in Austria and UK: TBA

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