John Eliot Gardiner with the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloist celebrate the 450th birthday of the 17th century genius and founding father of the opera.
There is little doubt that the novelty of his works surpassed the art of his ancestors and that Monteverdi thus ushered in a new age of music. Monteverdi was always fascinated by man's passions and devoted his entire life to developing techniques to translate them into music. Thus he can be directly compared with the greatest artists and scientists of the early 17th century, such as Galileo, Bacon, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Caravaggio and Rubens.
The top-class ensemble consists of internationally renowned soloists as well as members of the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists. Under the direction of Sir John Eliot Gardiner, the three great Monteverdi operas are performed and semi-concerted by Elsa Rooke. The orchestra, which uses historical instruments from Monteverdi's time, plays a central role, as it is placed on stage and integrated into the plot.
The highlight of this international tour, which runs from April to October 2017, are the performances at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice as well as at the Salzburg Festival, the Berliner Festspiele and the Lucerne Festival.
Arcadian landscape. Shepherds and nymphs greet the day. Orpheus and Eurydice, happy in their love, join in the singing. The shepherds and nymphs listen to the song of Orpheus, which announces the fulfilment of his love. But a messenger tells the singer that his lover has been snatched from him by death. In the Underworld, moved by the missing songs of Orpheus, the Guardian of the Dead opens the gate to the Underworld and Eurydice may follow her husband when he finds his way to the Land of Light. However, if he looks around for the beloved, she must return to the shadows. They are approaching the sunlight, where Orpheus, tormented by doubts, stops at the threshold to the underworld. Fearfully, he turns to Eurydice, who is now banished to the empire of silence for all time. Full of despair Orpheus remains behind.