Monteverdi 450

Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria

Tragedia di lieto fine in one prologue and three acts [Venice, 1641]
by Claudio Monteverdi [1567–1643]
Ciacomo Badoaro [1602-1654], Libretto
Semi-staged performance
450 years Claudio Monteverdi

Robert Diament, “He has turned her head”, beginning of 1960s, colour print

Robert Diament, “He has turned her head”, beginning of 1960s, colour print

© Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow / Moscow House of Photography Museum

  • Duration 3h, 20
  • In Italian with German surtitles

Past Dates

18:00 work introduction

Based on the second half of Homer’s Odyssey, “Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria” is a tale of treachery and deception, eventually overcome by fidelity and love. When Ulysses, King of Ithaca, returns home from the Trojan wars he finds his faithful queen, Penelope, besieged by a trio of unctuous suitors and urged by her advisors to accept one of them as her new husband. Ulysses (with both the help and hindrance of the gods) eventually convinces her of his true identity, routs the three suitors and regains his kingdom. Monteverdi and his librettist Badoaro chart the trials and twists of Ulysses’ journey, introducing us to a Shakespearean cast of characters – from the quarrelling gods, to the noble protagonists, their scheming servants, the evil courtiers, and rustics that are either innocent, faithful or merely foolish. It is astonishing how accurately and subtly Monteverdi’s music reflects the salient features of each personage. Most strikingly, he underlines the essential humanity of Ulysses and Penelope, so that we are moved to share in their sorrows and joys.

Ulisse Furio Zanasi
Penelope Lucile Richardot
Minerva/Fortuna Hana Blažíková
Telemaco Krystian Adam
Eumete Francisco Fernández-Rueda
Iro Robert Burt
Eurimaco Zachary Wilder
Melanto Anna Dennis
Giove John Taylor Ward
Giunone Francesca Boncompagni
Ericlea Francesca Biliotti
Amore Silvia Frigato
Umana fragilità Carlo Vistoli
Tempo, Nettuno, Antinoo Gianluca Buratto
Pisandro Michał Czerniawski
Anfinomo Gareth Treseder

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

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