Prom 25: Monteverdi’s Orfeo forever fresh in Gardiner’s hands

For over 20 years the Gonzagas paid him late, ignored his personal tragedies, and treated him in all practical terms with cruel contempt. Monteverdi, nevertheless, created extraordinary music in the Gonzaga court (before moving, at last, to Venice in 1613, where he would soon be properly appreciated): and top of the list of his Mantuan achievements must come the groundbreaking Orfeo, his favola in musica (musical fable), often called the first ‘true’ opera. Sir John Eliot Gardiner presided over a superb Orfeo for the Proms which made the most of Orfeo’s experimental aspects – and deliriously beautiful score.

Click here to read my full review on Bachtrack.


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