Here’s How Sir John Eliot Gardiner Will Celebrate Monteverdi’s 450th Birthday

By David Salazar

As part of Claudio Monteverdi’s 450th birthday anniversary, Sir John Eliot Gardiner is going on tour to recognize the father of opera.

The tour is slated to last a whopping seven months, taking place around the globe in such countries as the UK, Germany, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain and the USA.

The tour will essentially feature performances of all three of the composer’s surviving operas – “L’Orfeo,” “Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria,” and “L’Incoronazione di Poppea.”

The tour, which will feature the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists, kicks off Monday at Aix-en-Provence, France with a performance of “Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria.” The tour will last a total of 35 performances, the last three at Lincoln Center in New York in October.

To prepare for the tour, Gardiner and his ensembles took a weeklong workshop in Venice’s Fondazione Giorgio Cini to meet with many Monteverdi scholars.

“By performing the trilogy in consecutive performances we hope to take audiences on a voyage – from the pastoral world to the court and the city, from myth to political history, from innocence to corruption, from a portrait of man subject to the whim of the gods, to a hero imprisoned by his human condition, and finally to a dual portrait of mad lovers, uncontrolled in their ambition and lust. Who is the true victor in the end? Perhaps the music,” noted the conductor about the project, according to a press release.