Arts > The crown of opera

18 May 2017 | by Rick Jones

The crown of opera


The crown of opera

Monteverdi reigns supreme

Rick Jones
The Coronation of Poppea,
Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra
Colston Hall, Bristol

Opera, invented in Italy in 1597, might not have succeeded so spectacularly without Claudio Monteverdi, who wrote the first masterpieces. Equally, Monteverdi might not have achieved his current towering genius status without Sir John Eliot Gardiner who formed the Monteverdi Choir when he was a Cambridge student 53 years ago and its Baroque orchestra four years later. It was with the present generation of these ensembles plus a cast of dazzling soloists that Gardiner conducted a concert version of the last of Monteverdi’s operas in the modest surroundings of Bristol’s Colston Hall on 8 May to celebrate the composer’s 450th birthday.


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