Latest reviews - Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, Aix-en-Provence

fpa17 1004 0944 CarolineDoutre

©Caroline Doutre

10 April 2017

Munchner Merkur written by Markus Thiel

​'Just like​ Karajan​, Gardiner ​stage directs, assisted by Elsa Rooke. And ​the staging; it is an arrangement, which can be seen for the first time in Aix, a performance that has aroused singers, so that​ - ​with all precision and meticulous preparation - they will turn their innermost outward. Even the climax does not need a prop. ​The bow of Ulisse, which none of his rivals can span, is personified by Penelope herself who is stretching out her arm.  [...] ​What one experiences is captivating​,​ precise in its concentration on the music and ​with​ extraordinary soloists.'

Destimed written by Michel Egea

'Mastered by subtle and nuanced touches, refinement in detail, care taken with colour, respect for architecture, for the density of the material, Sir John Eliot Gardiner magnifies the music in the way that one another would the mountains of the region of Aix.'

News update - MCO performing at Proms 2017


This afternoon the full line up for this year's Proms music festival at the Royal Albert Hall was announced with Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras and Sir John Eliot Gardiner performing two very different programmes on 2nd and 8th August.

Prom 25 (Late night): Reformation 500th anniversary Bach & Schütz
Wed 2 Aug at 22.15

Sir John Eliot Gardiner, the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Bach’s austere and beautiful Lutheran cantatas stand in contrast to the lively rhythms and rich textures of Schütz’s music.


Heinrich Schütz
Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren, SWV 41(8 mins)
Nicht uns, Herr, sondern deinem Namen, SWV 43(6 mins)
Danket dem Herren, denn er ist freundlich, SWV 45(7 mins)

Johann Sebastian Bach
Cantata No. 79, 'Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild', BWV 79(15 mins)
Cantata No. 80, 'Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott', BWV 80(25 mins)

For more info or to book tickets click here

Prom 31: Berlioz – The Damnation of Faust
Tue 8 Aug, 19.30

Sir John Eliot Gardiner returns to the Proms with The Damnation of Faust, continuing his multi-season Berlioz series. Part opera, part cantata, this ‘dramatic legend’ is an epic retelling of the Faust story that captures the extremes of man’s ambition and folly in music by turns exquisite and grotesque.

American tenor Michael Spyres returns to the Proms in the title-role, with Swedish mezzo-soprano Ann Hallenberg as the innocent victim, Marguerite.

For more info or to book tickets click here

In memory of Ruth Ziegler - 19th July 1942 - 20th February 2017
Ruth Zeigler

We were very sorry to hear of the passing of our friend and supporter Ruther Ziegler.

The Monteverdi Choir was a passion in Ruth’s life; she attended many of our concerts and regularly volunteered for us. She will be deeply missed and our thoughts and prayers are with her friends and family at this difficult time. We would like to thank her loved ones who have so generously donated to us in her memory
Sir John Eliot Gardiner receives RCM honorary doctorate from HRH The Prince of Wales
rcm jeg
During HRH The Prince of Wales annual President's visit to the Royal College of Music on Tuesday 7th March, he paid tribute to outstanding musicians and industry leaders. This included an Honorary Doctorate for Sir John Eliot Gardiner.

On collecting the award
Sir John Eliot Gardiner recalled the impact of the Royal College of Music on his career, commenting:

In my teens I attended master classes by Nadia Boulanger at the Royal College of Music and was blown away by her inspirational exposés of works by Fauré, Schubert and others.  It planted the seeds of an idea that one day I might study with her full time. Pretty well every day of my professional life as a musician I’ve thanked my lucky stars that I did, so I have long been grateful to the RCM for this experience.

New live recording of Bach's St Matthew Passion available to pre-order
A new live recording of Bach’s St Matthew Passion (Matthäuspassion BWV 244), recorded in Pisa Cathedral during the Anima Mundi Festival as part of the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra’s 2016 tour.

As well as the full sung texts, the booklet includes both a programme note by Sir John Eliot Gardiner as well as his tour notes: Written both before and during their 6-month international tour – which began in Valencia in March and concluded with this performance in Pisa on 22 September.

Bach St Matthew Passion

Sir John Eliot Gardiner

English Baroque Soloists
Monteverdi Choir
Trinity Boys Choir

James Gilchrist tenor (Evangelista)
Stephan Loges bass (Jesus)

Hannah Morrison, Zoë Brookshaw, Charlotte Ashley soprano
Reginald Mobley, Eleanor Minney alto
Hugo Hymas tenor
Ashley Riches, Alex Ashworth, Jonathan Sells bass
Kati Debretzeni leader

Lincoln Center announces Great Performers Season
Sir John Eliot Gardiner will open the Lincoln Center's Great Performers Season in October, with semi-staged performances of the surviving trilogy of Monteverdi's great operas, L'Orfeo, Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria and L'incornazione di Poppea at Alice Tully Hall.

An international cast of soloists together with members of the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists will perform these remarkable works in tribute to the great Italian composer at the time of his 450th anniversary. The orchestra's beautifully crafted period instruments, will take centre-stage and thus form a central part in the story-telling process. Their interaction with the singers will lead audiences into a world of love, loss, anger, hope and desolation.

The operas narrate three individual tales of ancient Greece and Rome, moving from innocence to experience and finally corruption. However, the uniting subtext of all of Monteverdi's surviving musical dramas is the full unchanging gamut of human emotions - bewildering, passionate, uncomfortable and sometimes uncontrollable. It is Monteverdi’s talent for communicating emotion, and using this as the driving force in his operas, that makes them so powerfully appealing to today's audiences.
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