René Jacobs © Josep Molina

Dramma per musica in einem Prolog und drei Akten (1640)

Music by Claudio Monteverdi

Libretto by Giacomo Badoaro

Opera in concert in Italian

Wednesday, 22 March 2017, 7 pm until 10 pm (Intermission: 8.20 pm)

Content

In 1607, Monteverdi had established the new genre of opera with a masterpiece, L’Orfeo. Initially, performances of the new form of musical theatre were accessible only to the nobility, but from 1637 public opera houses were opened in Venice for paying audiences. Two operas by Monteverdi survive from this time. One of them is Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria to a libretto by Giacomo Badoaro after Homer’s Odyssey. Monteverdi seeks to satisfy the audience's desire for spectacle with a large cast. In the prologue, Il Tempo (Time), La Fortuna (Fortune) and Amore (Cupid) along with l’Umana fragilitá (Human Frailty) claim that every human being is a plaything of the gods. The return of Ulisse from the Trojan War is given as an example: for ten years he laid siege to Troy, and his return home was prevented for another ten years by the anger of the sea-god Nettuno. Without the support of the goddess Minerva his wanderings may have gone on forever.

Cast

Conductor

René Jacobs

Biography
Ulisse

Stéphane Degout

Biography
Penelope

Katarina Bradić

Biography
Telemaco

Anizio Zorzi Giustiniani

Biography
Iro

Jörg Schneider

Biography
Eurimaco

Pierre Derhet

Biography
Eumete

Thomas Walker

Biography
Amore / Giunone

Mirella Hagen

Biography
Pisandro

Mark Milhofer

Biography
Anfinomo

Johannes Chum

Biography
Antinoo / Tempo

Marcos Fink

Biography
Minerva / Umana Fragilità

Marie-Claude Chappuis

Biography
Fortuna / Melanto / Ericlea

Mary-Ellen Nesi

Biography
Nettuno

Jérôme Varnier

Biography
Orchestra

B´Rock Baroque Orchestra Gent

Biography