Monteverdi Sacred & Secular

Because of the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic we regret to announce that this project has been postponed until further notice. The good news is that while we may not be able to tour, we will still be bringing music by this favourite composer of ours to the comfort of your own homes. Over the coming weeks we will be broadcasting our award-winning Monteverdi Trilogy performances, filmed in Venice’s Teatro La Fenice in 2017 – for more information, click here.


O ciechi, il tanto affaticar, SV 252 (from Selva morale e spirituale, 1641)
Dixit Dominus II ‘concertato’, SV 264 (from Selva morale e spirituale, 1641)
Confitebor III ‘alla francese’, SV 267 (from Selva morale e spirituale, 1641)
Salve Regina I (Audi coelum), SV 283 (from Selva morale e spirituale, 1641)
Beatus vir I ‘concertato’, SV 268 (from Selva morale e spirituale, 1641)
Hor che’l ciel e la terra, SV 147 (8th Book of Madrigals, 1638)
Lamento della ninfa, SV 163 (8th Book of Madrigals, 1638)
Sestina – Lagrime d’amante al sepolcro dell’amata, SV 111 (6th Book of Madrigals, 1614)
Ballo delle ingrate, SV 167 (excerpts) (8th Book of Madrigals, 1638)

In his operas Orfeo, Poppea and Ulisse, Monteverdi’s musical illumination of poetry brought his characters to life with palpable humanity; each of the madrigals performed in this programme, taken from the composer’s sixth and eighth books, vividly realise the poetic voice of jealousy, regret, grief and erotic desire. They are set against sacred works – many from the Selva morale e spirituale, the large collection he published near the end of his life – which are similarly colourful elucidations of their texts, by turns mystical and celebratory.

These duets, trios, and larger-scale pieces evoke Monteverdi’s world at the highly cultured court of the Dukes of Gonzaga in Mantua, and later, in the republic of Venice, where he was commissioned to write music for various institutions as well as for the Basilica of St Mark during his tenure as the cathedral’s maestro di cappella. Among these works is the sensuous and mercurial setting of Petrarch’s evocation of nocturnal amorous torment, ‘Hor che’l ciel e la terra’, with its extraordinary final phrase, which perhaps best encapsulates the variety, virtuosity and vibrancy of the repertoire that gave the Monteverdi Choir its name.

Led by John Eliot Gardiner, members of the Monteverdi ensembles and a group of brilliant young soloists present this exploration of Monteverdi’s sacred and secular works on a tour of Europe’s finest concert halls.


Grand Théâtre de Provence, Aix-en-Provence *POSTPONED*
Wednesday 15 April at 8.30pm

Philharmonie de Paris, Paris*POSTPONED*
Thursday 16 April at 8.30pm

Tonhalle Maag, Zürich*POSTPONED*
Saturday 18 April at 6.30pm

Teatro Manzoni, Bologna*POSTPONED*
Sunday 19 April at 8.30pm

Auditorium Giovanni Agnelli, Turin *POSTPONED*
Tuesday 21 April at 8.30pm

Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, Budapest *POSTPONED*
Thursday 23 April at 7.30pm

Musikverein, Vienna *POSTPONED*
Friday 24 April at 7.30pm

Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg *POSTPONED*
Sunday 26 April at 7.30pm

Church of San Marcellino, Cremona *POSTPONED*
Tuesday 28 April at 9pm