Sir John Eliot Gardiner will open the Lincoln Center's Great Performers Season in October, with semi-staged performances of the surviving trilogy of Monteverdi's great operas, L'Orfeo, Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria and L'incornazione di Poppea at Alice Tully Hall.
An international cast of soloists together with members of the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists will perform these remarkable works in tribute to the great Italian composer at the time of his 450th anniversary. The orchestra's beautifully crafted period instruments, will take centre-stage and thus form a central part in the story-telling process. Their interaction with the singers will lead audiences into a world of love, loss, anger, hope and desolation.
The operas narrate three individual tales of ancient Greece and Rome, moving from innocence to experience and finally corruption. However, the uniting subtext of all of Monteverdi's surviving musical dramas is the full unchanging gamut of human emotions - bewildering, passionate, uncomfortable and sometimes uncontrollable. It is Monteverdi’s talent for communicating emotion, and using this as the driving force in his operas, that makes them so powerfully appealing to today's audiences.