9 May 2018

MCO wins RPS Music Award - 2018

It was announced on Wednesday 9 May that Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras have won this year’s Royal Philharmonic Society’s Music Award in Opera & Music Theatre for Monteverdi 450. This triumph in a hotly contested category represents a significant achievement for the organisation.

For classical, it’s the Oscars, the BAFTAs and the Grammys all in one’
BBC Radio 3 on the RPS Music Awards
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RPS Music Awards - pictured from left to right Rosa Solinas, Elsa Rooke & Francesca Biliotti
RPS Music Awards - pictured from left to right Elsa Rooke, Rosa Solinas & Francesca Biliotti

The whole purpose of our Monteverdi 450 Trilogy project was to reach out to a new audience: an audience that might not have heard him in the Opera House, might come to concerts but had not really taken on board the immensity of his talent and the immensity of his emotional range. Because that’s what’s so special about Monteverdi; he encompasses such a huge range of human emotions, from anger to grief to intense love to sexual ardour to despondency; it’s all there in his music. The thing that came across most of all to audiences was just how contemporary these pieces feel; they deal with issues which are part of our daily intake of emotional sustenance. It is done with such integrity and total fervour and truth, and incredible beauty of music’
Sir John Eliot Gardiner

‘Achieving such prestigious recognition is a tribute to all those involved in this mammoth undertaking: from the talented onstage musicians led by John Eliot Gardiner—and I should stress for those who didn’t see our shows that both singers and players were on stage together, all involved in the drama, vividly bringing Monteverdi’s words and music to new audiences —to our brilliant creative team and all those working tirelessly with us behind the scenes. Not forgetting our loyal supporters, some of the most faithful and committed anywhere, who gave this project to the world… this kind of teamwork is what opera has always been all about!’
Rosa Solinas – General Director, Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras

To coincide with the 450thanniversary of Claudio Monteverdi’s birth, Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras led by John Eliot Gardiner, staged a six-month international tour performing the Baroque master’s three surviving operas L’Orfeo, Il o read in fullritorno d’Ulisse in patria and L’incoronazione di Poppea—in compelling staged concert productions—and his Vespers of 1610 to audiences at prestigious festivals, churches and venues in Europe and the US.

It all started in 2016 with a series of workshops at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, where the Monteverdi ensembles and an invited cast of soloists came together to explore embryonic musical ideas for the project. This was followed in 2017 by the tour, which began with an appearance at the Aix-en-Provence Easter Festival in April and continued to Barcelona and Bristol before taking audiences by storm at La Fenice, Venice, with two back-to-back runs of the full trilogy over one week. Performances then continued at other major European music festivals in Salzburg, Edinburgh, Lucerne, Berlin, Wroclaw and Paris before finally concluding across the Atlantic in Chicago and at the celebrated White Light Festival, New York.

In total the tour comprised 34 performances at 12 venues in 9 countries to live audiences of over 70,000. It concluded on 15 December 2017 with a final celebratory concert in the RaphaelCartoon Gallery at the V&A Museum, where 50 years earlier John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir had performed to mark Monteverdi’s 400thanniversary.

‘This is a living opera, projecting thrillingly into a large space without ever losing focus or energy. Gardiner conducts all three with absolute authority, and his players and singers, cross-cast, work as a seamless team.’
Sunday Telegraph ★★★★★

‘Yet another extraordinary evening of opera in the Usher Hall…Gardiner and his superb international cast deliver the goods, with consummate style’
Herald Scotland ★★★★★

RPS Music Awards
The annual RPS Music Awards, presented in association with BBC Radio 3, are the highest recognition for live classical music in the UK. Awards, in thirteen categories, are decided by independent panels consisting of some of the music industry’s most distinguished practitioners. The awards honour musicians, composers, writers, broadcasters and inspirational arts organisations. The list of previous winners include some of the world’s leading musicians and organisations of classical music.

Monteverdi 450 trailer