Universiteit Leiden

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Project La Tragedia di Claudio M.

As part of his PhD trajectory, Johannes Boer (PhD candidate at the ACPA), created a music theatre production La Tragedia di Claudio M. .

About the opera

The life of Claudio Monteverdi from his Orfeo in 1607 until the première of Arianna in 1608 has all characteristics of an opera plot. In this libretto he loses his wife, fights the critical demon that ridicules his innovative art, suffers from ailments and time pressure to finish the new opera, loses his adored young female soloist who dies form small pox and finally finds the truth of his new music sung by a fabulous actress.

After the Monteverdi year 2017 celebrating his 450th birthday, the public remained ignorant about the person Claudio Monteverdi and his struggles. Together we go back those four centuries and find the protagonists alive on stage again. Star tenor Francesco Rasi (Orfeo, Teseo etc.), the soprano Caterina Martinelli, the librettist Ottavio Rinuccini, theorist G.M. Artusi, Duchess Eleonora de Medici and finally the commedia actress Virginia Andreini, famous for her lamenti.

New music merges with the Old to bridge the gap, and in both the style is speaking in singing, the so called ‘parlar cantando.’ Also we hear for the first time Monteverdi in his own words as written down in letters characterizing the man and self-aware artist full of ironic humour, looking for the truth in music.

Commedia dell’Arte is represented by I Comici Fedeli a genuine ensemble from Venice, trained according to the roots of this primal theatrical form, which stands at the cradle of opera. The dynamic actions of the Comici interact with the five singers who are allegorical representations of Monteverdi’s own projections. Vanità, Piacere, Ragione, Potere and finally Verità.

For more information on the cast, vocalists, musicians and I Comici Fedeli, go to Musica in Scena.

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