The music world is celebrating the 450th anniversary of the birth of the great Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi.
In Sydney, Les Arts Florissants will perform two concerts in two separate programs of Monteverdi Madrigals on successive evenings.
The Cremona madrigals are performed on Monday 3 April at 7.30pm and the Mantua madrigals on Tuesday 4 April.
Les Arts Florissants is one of the most renowned and respected early music groups in the world. Founded in 1979 by the Franco-American harpsichordist and conductor William Christie, the ensemble, named after an opera by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, has pioneered the revival of a long-neglected early music repertoire, including countless treasures of early compositions unearthed from national archives. Today that repertoire is widely performed and admired: not only French music from the reign of Louis XIV, but also European music of the 17th and 18th centuries.
For this tour, William Christie passes the baton to British tenor and associate music director, Paul Agnew, with whom he has shared the role since 2007. The ensemble will comprise 6 singers: sopranos Miriam Allan and Mhairai Lawson, contralto Lucile Richardot, tenors Paul Agnew and Zachary Wilder and bass Lisandro Abadie. they will be accompanied by two lutenists and harpsichord. Together the ensemble represents England, France, Italy, Nth. Ireland, Scotland, and Australia. Representing Australia is soprano Miriam Allen a long-time performer in this expert project.
Four years ago Paul Agnew embarked on a project to organise the compositions contained in the eight volumes of Monteverdi’s madrigals written between 1587 and 1638. He organised the compositions in chronological order bearing the titles of the cities where Monteverdi composed them: Cremona, where Monteverdi was born and began composing; Mantau where he was a vocalist and viol player, then music director at the court of Vincenzo I of Gonzaga; and finally Venice where he wrote his last works including three operas that are seen as the beginning of this art form as it now exists.
Critical reception to both performances and recordings of Monteverdi madrigals has been rapturous. Gramophone Magazine named Les Arts Florissants’ CD of the Cremona madrigals Best Baroque Vocal Recording of 2016.
Read our interview with William Christie on the eve of his last tour to Sydney with Les Arts Florissants in March 2015.
Tickets On Sale: Thursday 9 February
All tickets $85 A special price applies to patrons purchasing tickets to both evenings – $150.
Bookings: theconcourse.com.au / 02 8075 8111 or Ticketek / 1300 364 001