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Sir John Eliot Gardiner on Monteverdi’s operas
Sir John Eliot Gardiner says Monteverdi belongs to a generation of extraordinary artists and scientists who were concerned with how it is to be human. In celebration of the 450th anniversary of the composer’s birth, all three surviving operas will be performed at the 2017 International Festival. Read on to find out more about each of them.
Monteverdi treats L’Orfeo as an allegory of the power of music and the power of love
Sir John Eliot Gardiner says that L’Orfeo, first performed in 1607, is “not a primitive opera; it’s already extraordinarily accomplished and enticing masterwork.”
Watch the video to find out more about the opera that Monteverdi called ‘a fable in music.’
The last two operas of Monteverdi are extraordinarily opposed to each other in their morality
Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria is all about marital fidelity and the lasting quality of faithfulness, whereas in L’incoronazione di Poppea it is political ambitions, unscrupulous machinations and lust that triumph in the end.
Conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner has no explanation to why we, as an audience, seem to be able to develop a soft spot for Poppea and Nerone, other than his observation that “Monteverdi has this incredible power to make you drop your reservations, drop your scruples, and allow you to be enchanted by his music.”
L’Orfeo, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria and L’incoronazione di Poppea will be performed at the 2017 International Festival on 14, 15 and 17 August respectively at the Usher Hall, and you can book your tickets now.