Monteverdi Complete Operas


Monteverdi Complete Operas box set. This is not a collection of titles previously published separately. This box includes three operas performed on one day in September 2013 as part of a single huge production directed by Barrie Kosky at the Berlin Komische Oper:

  1. L'Orfeo or La Favola d'Orfeo, written 1607(libretto by Alessandro Striggio reworked and translated into modern German by Susanne Felicitas Wolf and Ulrich Lenz). This is the earliest surviving opera still regularly seen on the boards. Performed in the morning, it's the familiar story Orpheus story for which we already have five HDVD versions.
  2. Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, written 1639 (libretto by Giacomo Badoaro, Wolf, and Lenz) here called Odysseus. Performed in the afternoon.
  3. L'incoronazione di Poppea, written 1643 (libretto by Giovanni Francesco Busenello, Wolf, and Lenz),  Performed in the evening. We have an opera and a ballet version of this already in HDVD.

There are no clearly authentic musical scores for these works---instead multiple competing scores come from obscurity down to us. Here's how Shirley Apthorp put it in the Financial Times: "Composer Elana Kats-Chernin has re-imagined Monteverdi's score with a battery of exotic instruments in different chamber orchestrations for each opera. The result is a marathon for all concerned." Well, in the form of HDVD recordings, you can pace yourself and experience this over several days.

The production has 32 soloists and more than 200 supporting artists. Stars Tansel Akzeybek (Telemachos/Valletto), Thomas Michael Allen (Arnalta/Eumaios), Alexey Antonov (Pluto), Katharina von Bülow (Minerva), Brigitte Geller (Poppea), Julia Giebel (Drusilla), Karolina Gumos (Fate/Juno), Dominik Köninger (Orpheus), Theresa Kronthaler (Sylvia/Proserpina/Otho), Ezgi Kutlu (Penelope), Jens Larsen (Antinoos/Time/Neptun/Seneca), Tom Erik Lie (Amphinomos/Amme), Annelie Sophie Müller (Minerva/Tugend or Virtue), Julia Novikova (Eurydice), Christiane Oertel (Eurykleia), Günter Papendell (Odysseus), Peter Renz (Amor), Helene Schneiderman (Octavia), Stefan Sevenich (Charon), Roger Smeets (Nero), Frank Soehnle (Figuren orr Figures of Orpheus and Eurydike), Ariana Strahl (Damigella/Fate), Adrian Strooper (Eurymachos/Liberto), Christoph Späth (Pisandro/Jupiter), and Mirka Wagner (Melanto). André de Ridder conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Komische Oper Berlin (Chorus Master André Kellinghaus). Set designs by Katrin Lea Tag; costume designs by Katrin Lea Tag and Katharina Tasch; lighting by Alexander Koppelmann; choreography by Otto Pichler; dramatic advice by Ulrich Senz; directed for video by Peter Schöenhofer. Sung in German with subtitles in German, English, French, and Turkish. Released 2015, has 3 discs with 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: NA