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Monteverdi 450 - Three Surviving Operas by Claudio Monteverdi
  • Presented By: The Harris Theater for Music and Dance
  • Address: 205 E. Randolph Dr., Chicago, IL 60601
  • Dates: 10/12/2017, 10/13/2017, 10/15/2017
  • Time: 7:30 PM
  • Price: Subscriptions range from $52.50 to $187.50 for three performances
  • Monteverdi 450 – U.S. Premiere
    Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir, and English Baroque Soloists

    Three Surviving Operas by Claudio Monteverdi

    Experience love, loss, and virtue in a trilogy of Monteverdi's great operas. Three tales of ancient Greece and Rome will take you on a powerful exploration of the human condition and the emergence of opera as we know it.

    Thursday, October 12, 2017; 7:30 PM – L’Orfeo

    Friday, October 13, 2017; 7:30 PM – Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria

    Sunday, October 15, 2017; 2:00 PM – L’Incoronazione di Poppea

    L’Orfeo
    Eurydice, the wife of the demi-god Orfeo – son of Apollo, is bitten by a poisonous snake and dies in the pastoral fields of Thrace. Orfeo is determined to persuade the gods of the Underworld to allow Eurydice to return to life. Led by Hope, Orfeo descends to the Underworld, charms the ferryman Caronte, who carries the souls of the dead across the River Styx, to sleep, and ravishes Proserpina, the Queen of Hades, with his desperate song. Proserpina begs Plutone, the King of the Dead, to release Eurydice on the condition that as Orfeo leads her towards the light, he must not look back at her. Orfeo cannot resist the doubt of Eurydice following behind him and turns to check, thus returning to the upper world alone. In grief, Orfeo consecrates his powerful lyre to the memory of Eurydice. Apollo eases his son’s sorrow inviting him to leave the world and join him in the heavens where he can bask in Eurydice’s likeness in the stars.

    This presentation of L'Orfeo was made possible by the generous support of Abby McCormick O’Neil and D. Carroll Joynes, Performance Sponsor.

    Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria
    It has been twenty years since King Ulisse departed from his homeland of Ithaca to fight in the Trojan War. He left behind his beloved young wife, Queen Penelope, and infant son, Telemachus. No word has been heard from him since the war’s end ten years prior. The queen clings to the hope that her husband will return. Penelope spends her days mourning the absence of her husband, weaving on her loom and then unraveling the day’s work. Telemachus, now a young man, leaves Ithaca in search of his father. Ulisse finally returns to his homeland only to find, and the royal palace overrun with ambitious suitors seeking the crown of Ithaca and the prize attached to it – his beautiful and faithful Penelope.

    This presentation of Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria was made possible by the generous support of Abby McCormick O’Neil and D. Carroll Joynes, Performance Sponsor.

    L’Incoronazione di Poppea
    In the Heavens, Virtue and Fortune are arguing over who between them is the most powerful. Amore (Love) interrupts to assert that it is he who reigns in heaven and on earth and wagers that he can defeat both of them.

    Ottone, Poppea’s lover, returns after a long absence to find her having an affair with the Emperor Nero. Ignoring the advice of his tutor Seneca, Nero vows to leave his wife, the Empress Ottavia to install Poppea on the throne. Seneca angers Nero in trying to dissuade him. Nero orders Seneca to commit suicide.

    Ottavia persuades Ottone to assassinate Poppea. Drusilla, in love with Ottone, lends him her clothing as a disguise. Just as Ottone is about to stab the sleeping Poppea, Amore intervenes and Drusilla is accused of the attempted murder. Ottavia is revealed to have plotted the crime, freeing Nero to send his wife into exile and crown Poppea as the new Empress.

    This presentation of L’Incoronazione di Poppea was made possible by the generous support of Katherine Abelson, Performance Sponsor.

Monteverdi 450 - Three Surviving Operas by Claudio Monteverdi
  • Address: 205 E. Randolph Dr.
  • 10/12/2017, 10/13/2017, 10/15/2017
  • Subscriptions range from $52.50 to $187.50 for three performances