Monteverdi Festival 2024 – where everything was born and is now reborn

Thursday, April 4, 2024

The Monteverdi Festival blends tradition and innovation, celebrating Monteverdi, his operas, his extraordinary music and his legacy in the vibrant city of Cremona

L’incoronazione di Poppea from 2023
L’incoronazione di Poppea from 2023

The 41st edition of the Monteverdi Festival promises to be an extraordinary celebration of Claudio Monteverdi,
the father of opera, and his enduring legacy. Get ready to be dazzled by the luminous presence of Cecilia Bartoli, the international opera star whose name is synonymous with brilliance and artistry. As one of the most refined interpreters of the baroque repertoire, Bartoli’s debut in Cremona promises to be an unforgettable experience for opera lovers.

Prepare to be swept away by the beauty of Monteverdi’s timeless masterpiece Orfeo, among the first operas in the history of music.

But there’s more to discover. Picture the stage coming alive with the transcendent talents of internationally renowned baroque luminaries such as Fabio Biondi, leading his prestigious Europa Galante, or Federico Maria Sardelli conducting Modo Antiquo and Giordano Antonelli guiding the ensemble Musica Antiqua Latina: a breathtaking journey into the depths of musical splendor.

A constellation of opera stars will grace the stage, each bringing their own unique brilliance to the tapestry of sound. From the celestial tones of male soprano Samuel Mariño to the ethereal melodies of countertenor Nicolò Balducci, baritone Mauro Borgioni, and captivating performances from sopranos Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli and Giulia Bolcato, the audience will be transported to realms of sublime beauty and emotion.

L’Orfeo at the Monteverdi Festival in 2021

Under the guidance of esteemed conductors such as Ottavio Dantone, Francesco Corti, Antonio Greco and William Christie, who will guide their acclaimed ensembles Accademia Bizantina, Il Pomo D’Oro, Les Arts Florissants, attendees will be treated to spellbinding performances. With over thirty events spanning opera productions, concerts, meetings, and educational residencies, the festival promises an immersive journey through the rich tapestry of artistic expression.

This festival is more than just a celebration; it is a homage to musical mastery, a spectacle of elegance, and an acknowledgement of Monteverdi’s timeless genius. At the festival’s zenith, Cecilia Bartoli shines, illuminating the stage with her talent and grace.

Beyond the festival events, Cremona offers a wealth of cultural experiences. Immerse yourself in the pulsating heart of Cremona, the capital of music and cradle of opera, and let yourself be carried away into a world of wonders among music, art, and ‘dolcevita’. During the festival days, you will find precious moments to explore the city through enchanting walks in the alleys and romantic dinners under Renaissance vaults of the city’s palaces.

The city will amaze you with its intricate history in crafting violins and string instruments. Long renowned for its luthiers, the city offers an extraordinary overview of the history of this ancient and precious craft, which unfolds by entering the violin-making workshops and visiting the marvellous Violin Museum – a modern treasure trove where historical instruments and unique pieces of Cremonese Lutherie are preserved.

For lovers of design and architecture, the Auditorium Arvedi is a must-visit, where the sound of great instruments from the past resonates in a magical atmosphere.

Admiring, identifying, and studying ancient musical instruments is a everyday life in Cremona. A few minutes walk will take you to the music rooms of the Ala Ponzone Museum, with violins, violas, violas d’amore, pochettes, ghironde, guitars, mandolins, and lutes, built by leading European craftsmen between the 17th and 19th centuries.

At Casa Stradivari, once home and workshop of the legendary Antonio Stradivari, young luthiers study and perfect their craft in front of passersby. It is not uncommon to come across street violinists of extraordiary talent while enjoying the unique atmosphere of one of Italy’s most beautiful squares: Piazza del Duomo. With the 12th-century Cathedral, Baptistery, Town Hall, Loggia dei Militi, and the Torrazzo, it is an architectural jewel of medieval Italian civilisation. The spacious perspective and balanced harmony of the architecture creates a monumental complex, inviting you to wander the streets of Cremona.

Finally, enjoy the Ponchielli Theatre, heart of the Monteverdi Festival and cornerstorne of the city’s cultural scene, with its top-level artistic seasons. The theatre is a gem that shines even beyond its performances: it is a remarkable and extraordinarily preserved example of the 17th and 18th ‘Italian-style theatre’, considered a miniature version of La Scala in Milan.

The Monteverdi Festival blends tradition and innovation, celebrating Monteverdi, his operas, his extraordinary music and his legacy in the vibrant city of Cremona. 

Monteverdi, the father of opera:

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