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First Steps in Opera

Donald Macleod recounts the circumstances under which Monteverdi devised one of the world's first operas, L'Orfeo. Including Questi Vaghi; L'Orfeo (excerpt); Lamento di Arianna.

To mark 450 years since the composer's birth, Donald Macleod traces Claudio Monteverdi's remarkable rise from relatively humble origins in Cremona (he was the son of a barber-surgeon) to his subsequent career as instrumentalist and composer at the court of Vincenzo Gonzaga at Mantua, and his later promotion to the role of Director of Music at the Basilica of St Mark's in Venice.

In today's episode, Donald recounts the circumstances under which Monteverdi devised one of the world's first operas, Orfeo. Later, despite his personal grief on losing his wife and then one of his star singers, Monteverdi would be forced to write a further opera, on the subject of Ariadne. Overworked, underpaid, and with little sympathy from his court employers, it's small wonder that Monteverdi would pour out some of his own grief into some deeply personal madrigals, lamenting the death of a loved one.

Questi vaghi
Les Arts Florissants
Paul Agnew, director

L'Orfeo, Act 1 (extract)
La Venexiana
Claudio Cavina, director

Lamento di Arianna
La Venexiana
Emanuela Galli, soprano
Claudio Cavina, director

Lagrime d'amante al sepolcro dell'amata
Les Arts Florissants
Paul Agnew, director.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Claudio Monteverdi

    Questi vaghi concenti

    Choir: Les Arts Florissants. Director: Paul Agnew.
    • LES ARTS FLORISSANTS EDITIONS : AF-003.
    • 1.
  • Claudio Monteverdi

    L' Orfeo - extract Act 1

    Performer: La Venexiana.
    • GLOSSA : GES920-913-E.
    • 1.
  • Claudio Monteverdi

    Lamento D'Arianna

    Performer: La Venexiana. Performer: Scherzi Musicali. Performer: Emanuela Galli. Conductor: Claudio Cavina.
    • GCD : 920915.
    • 1.
  • Claudio Monteverdi

    Lagrime d'amante al Sepulcro dell'Amata

    Ensemble: Les Arts Florissants. Conductor: Paul Agnew.
    • LES ARTS FLORISSANTS EDITIONS : AF-003.
    • LES ARTS FLORISSANTS EDITIONS.
    • 16.

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