Monteverdi 450


Favola in musica in one prologue and five acts [Mantua, 1607]
by Claudio Monteverdi [1567–1643]
Alexandro Striggio d. J. [1573-1630], libretto
Semi-staged performance
450 years Claudio Monteverdi

Alexander Rodchenko, scene from the film “Albidium” 1928, silver gelatin print of the artist

Alexander Rodchenko, scene from the film “Albidium” 1928, silver gelatin print of the artist

© private collection

  • Duration 2h 10
  • In Italian with German surtitles

Past Dates

18:00 work introduction

The history books tell us that “L’Orfeo” was one of the earliest surviving operas, and the most frequently performed of its era. Yet Monteverdi and his librettist called it a “fable in music”, one which re-enacts the famous story of Orpheus who descends to the underworld in an attempt to bring his dead bride, Eurydice, back to life. His journey through Hades proves fruitless, as he cannot prevent himself from looking back at Eurydice as she follows him back to the living world and is then forced to return to the world of the dead. Orpheus suffers, grows, loses himself in the violence of grief, and finally comes to a new and deeper understanding of himself. In striving for the perennial and timely revival and rebirth of Greek tragedy, Monteverdi knew that he was in the vanguard of a new art form. He did not belong in the rarefied milieu of its inventors, the Florentine camerata; but in this, his first attempt at music drama, he surpassed their fumbling experiments by meshing words and music together in an act of sublime craftsmanship and hereby creating exceptional emotional power. “L’Orfeo” is a magical introduction to Monteverdi’s probing investigation of human nature, character and desire by means of music.

Orfeo Krystian Adam
La Musica / Euridice Hana Blažíková
Messaggiera Lucile Richardot
Proserpina Francesca Boncompagni
Caronte/Plutone Gianluca Buratto
Speranza Kangmin Justin Kim
Apollo Furio Zanasi
Pastore I Francisco Fernández-Rueda
Pastore II / Spirito I / Eco Gareth Treseder
Pastore IV / Spirito III John Taylor Ward
Pastore III Michał Czerniawski
Spirito II Zachary Wilder
Ninfa Anna Dennis

Rick Fisher lighting design
Isabella Gardiner, Patricia Hofstede costumes
Elsa Rooke, Sir John Eliot Gardiner direction
Paolo Zanzu, Antonio Greco musical assistance

Monteverdi Choir
English Baroque Soloists
Sir John Eliot Gardiner conductor

A Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin event

Sponsored by the Capital Cultural Funds
and the Aventis Foundation.
Monteverdi 450 is supported by Monteverdi Tuscany

Logo Aventis Foundation     Logo Hauptstadtkulturfonds     Monteverdi Tuscany