Monteverdi Triology

450 years ago saw the birth of Claudio Monteverdi. Sir John Eliot Gardiner celebrates “ll divino Claudio,” as his contemporaries called him, by conducting all three of his surviving operas over a five-day period: L’Orfeo, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, and L’incoronazione di Poppea.

Sir John Eliot Gardiner © Peter Fischli/LUCERNE FESTIVAL

2017 is an important milestone for Claudio Monteverdi: 450 years ago, in 1567, the Italian composer was born in Cremona. His career unfolded during the period of transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque, and he became a pioneer and founder of classical music as we know it. Monteverdi thus established an identity. What’s more, the subject matter of his operas involves questions about our identity and about what it means to be human.

Sir John Eliot Gardiner is taking the occasion of this anniversary year – which is so ideally suited to the Summer Festival theme of “Identity” – to perform all three extant Monteverdi operas in Lucerne. “Monteverdi’s operas simply grip you, they captivate you from beginning to end,” he says. “Claudio Monteverdi is for me the musical equivalent of William Shakespeare. He is the first composer in the history of Western music that was able to assimilate and encapsulate the whole range of human feelings and emotions in music: from the noblest and most godlike figures to the most proletarian, the most lowlife.”

Monteverdi Triology