104. L’incoronazione di Poppea (Monteverdi)

Composer: Claudio Monteverdi Libretto: Giovanni Francesco Busenello First performed: Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice, 1643 carnival season Nero was the first historical figure to appear in an opera.  He would probably have been delighted. He was, after all, an opera singer himself. Good emperors were deified after their deaths, but Nero was less divus than … Continue reading 104. L’incoronazione di Poppea (Monteverdi)

103. Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (Monteverdi)

Composer: Claudio Monteverdi Libretto: Giacomo Baodaro First performed: Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice, 1639–1640 Carnival season Il ritorno d'Ulisse is rather like a Shakespearean Romance: a part-melancholic, part-comic story of gods, castaways, shipwrecks, transformations, perilous voyages, and disguises, which ends, after many years, with a family reunited. Based on Homer’s Odyssey, the opera tells of the hero’s … Continue reading 103. Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (Monteverdi)

57. La favola d’Orfeo (Claudio Monteverdi)

Favola in musica, in 5 actsComposer: Claudio MonteverdiLibretto: Alessandro StriggioFirst performed: Mantua, 1607 Carnival seasonLa favola d'Orfeo is the earliest opera that's still regularly performed; not the first, but the earliest.  It's very, very old, perhaps even older.  To put it into perspective: Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice was performed more than 150 years later, while Verdi and Wagner … Continue reading 57. La favola d’Orfeo (Claudio Monteverdi)