Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi was an Italian composer, string player, choirmaster, and priest. A composer of both secular and sacred music, and a pioneer in the development of opera, he is considered a crucial transitional figure between the Renaissance and Baroque periods of music history.

Born in Cremona, where he undertook his first musical studies and compositions, Monteverdi developed his career first at the court of Mantua (c. 1590–1613) and then until his death in the Republic of Venice where he was maestro di cappella at the basilica of San Marco. His surviving letters give insight into the life of a professional musician in Italy of the period, including problems of income, patronage and politics.

Much of Monteverdi's output, including many stage works, has been lost. His surviving music includes nine books of madrigals, large-scale religious works, such as his Vespro della Beata Vergine (Vespers for the Blessed Virgin) of 1610, and three complete operas. His opera L'Orfeo (1607) is the earliest of the genre still widely performed; towards the end of his life he wrote works for Venice, including Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria and L'incoronazione di Poppea.

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  • Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (2002)

    Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria by C. Monteverdi, from Zurich Opera, performed at Zurich Opera House, 2002. Directed by Klaus Michael Grüber, conductor Nikolas Harnoncourt, starring Jonas Kaufmann, Thomas Mohr, Vesselina Kasarova, Dietrich Henschel, Martina Janková, Cornelia Kallisch, Isabel Rey, M...

  • Il Ritorno di Ulisse in Patria (2021)

    Il ritorno di Ulisse in patria by C. Monteverdi, from Fondazione Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino performed at Teatro della Pergola, 2021. Directed by Robert Carsen, conductor Ottavio Dantone. Starring Charles Workman as Ulisse, Anicio Zorzi Giustiniani as Telemaco, Delphine Galou as Penelop...

  • The Coronation of Poppea (2010)

    The Coronation of Poppea by Claudio Monteverdi, from Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, 2010. Directed by Stein-Roger Bull and Anja Stabell, conductor Alessandro de Marchi. Starring Brigitte Christensen (Poppea), Jacek Laszczkowski (Nero), Tim Mead (Ottone), Marita Sølberg (Virtú/Drusilla), Pat...

  • Orfeo (2017)

    Orfeo by C. Monteverdi, from Basilique Cathédrale de Saint-Denis, 2017. Directed by Julien Condemine, conductor Leonardo Garcia Alarcon. Starring Choeur de Chambre de Namur; Valerio Contaldo (Orfeo); Francesca Aspromonte (Euridice); Giuseppina Bridelli (La Messagiera); Konstantin Wolff Plutone.

  • L'Orfeo (2006)

    L'Orfeo by C. Monteverdi, from Atelier Lyrique de Tourcoing, performed at Théâtre Municipal Raymond Devos, 2004. Directed by Jacky Lautem, conductor Jean-Claude Malgoire, starring Philippe Jaroussky, Kobie van Rensburg, Cyrille Gerstenhaber, Estelle Käique, Renaud Delaigue, Delphine Gillot, Berna...

  • Il ritorno di Ulisse in patria (2009)

    Il ritorno di Ulisse in patria by C. Monteverdi, from Teatro Real, 2009. Directed by Pier Luigi Pizzi,, conductor William Christie, starring Christine Rice, Ed Lyon, Robert Burt, Juan Sancho, Cyril Auvity, Joseph Cornwell, Kobie van Rensburg, Xavier Sabata, Umberto Chiummo and Hanna Bayodi-Hirt. ...

  • L'incoronazione di Poppea (2010)

    L'incoronazione di Poppea by C.Monteverdi, from Teatro Real, 2010. Directed by Pier Luigi Pizzi, conductor William Christie, starring Danielle de Niese, Philippe Jaroussky, Katherine Watson, Robert Burt, Ana Quintans, Antonio Abete, Max Emanuel Cencic, Anna Bonitatibus, Claire Debono, Damigella,...