Monteverdi 450: Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria
Sir John Eliot Gardiner, conductor / Monteverdi Choir / English Baroque Soloists
Although Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643) has long been recognized as the father of opera, only three of his contributions to the form survive. 2017 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, with the Harris Theater being its U.S. Premiere.
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 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.”
Sir John Eliot Gardiner, one of the most versatile and sought after conductors of our time, and his ensembles, the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, have undertaken a great number of pioneering projects all over the world. They have become renowned for their ambitious, large-scale tours lasting weeks or months, which aim to bring to life music from centuries past and make it relevant to modern audiences. By putting an emphasis on the historical context of the pieces and personal circumstances of the composers, the musicians are able to shed a new light on well-known (or lesser-known) repertoire, and to embark with their audiences on exceptional, intense musical journeys.