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…

Delicious downtime with the Duchess: La descente d’Orphée aux enfers with the Early Opera Company

Closing your eyes while listening, you could easily imagine yourself in a gilt-edged salon, with Her Highness Mademoiselle Marie de Lorraine, Duchess of Guise, peer of France, princess of Joinville, hereditary seneschal of Champagne herself sitting not far from you, enjoying and approving every lovely note. Composed by Charpentier for Mlle de Guise’s court towards…