Monteverdi (1567-1643) is credited with being one of the first, if not the first, composers of opera, and this month sees the Academy of Ancient Music embark on presenting all three of his operas, L'Orfeo, Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, (The Return of Ulysses to his Homeland) and L'incoranazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppaea) over the next three years at the Barbican.
The performance of L'Orfeo on 28 September not only coincides with the Academy of Ancient Music's 40th anniversary, but also signals the start of its first full associate ensemble season exclusively at the Barbican.
The concert hall staging is billed as ‘a L'Orfeo for our times' and is directed by acclaimed opera director Orpha Phelan. Focussing less on Monteverdi's Arcadian world of nymphs and shepherds and more on a human world in which deals are struck, marriages brokered and clans united, this promised to deliver a fresh look at one of the oldest masterpieces in the operatic repertoire.
Richard Egarr conducts a cast led by one of the finest interpreters of the title role, British tenor John Mark Ainsley, and one of this most country's most exciting sopranos, Sophie Bevan. Daniel Lehner, Paul Gerimon and Thomas Hobbs complete the line-up.
You can find more information and book tickets here.