Celebrating Claudio Monteverdi and the Birth of Opera

April 10 - 1pm

Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi was an Italian composer, gambist, and singer. His work, often regarded as revolutionary, marked the transition from the Renaissance style of music to that of the Baroque period. He developed two individual styles of composition - the heritage of Renaissance polyphony and the new basso continuo technique of the Baroque. Monteverdi wrote three of the earliest operas, L'Orfeo (1607), Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (1639) and L'incoronazione di Poppea (1642). He was recognized as an innovative composer and enjoyed considerable fame in his lifetime.

L'Orfeo is the oldest opera that is still performed regularly. Operabase reports that Monteverdi's operas were performed 555 times worldwide during the 2015-16 season. This places him #30 among most often performed composers. The breakdown of his most performed operas is as follows: L'incoronazione di Poppea (179), L’Orfeo (158) and Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (157).

Each session includes a 2.5-hr video segment from one of the operas and a 30-minute commentary and discussion. Each participant receives a 41-page course syllabus with bios, synopses and commentary.

The course meets at Trilogy in The Wine Library, 1645 Trilogy Pkwy (located 3 miles west of Nipomo). All sessions run from 1- 4 PM, Tuesdays, March 27 and April 10 and Thursday April 5, 2018. For specific questions and additional information please contact John Frey at JENFREY@aol.com or phone 549-0721.

Directions: Exit Hwy 101 at Willow Rd. Drive westward 3 miles to Via Conchita, turn left and drive to the Wine Library on your right. The donation is $25 for the entire 4-session course or $7 for a single session. All proceeds go to support OperaSLO To register, send a check addressed to: OperaSLO (write “Monteverdi” on the lower left line of the check) PO Box 14760 San Luis Obispo, CA 93406 Checks or cash will be accepted at each session.


Tuesday, April 10: L'incoronazione di Poppea (The Coronation of Poppea) is an opera comprising a prologue and three acts, first performed in Venice during the 1642–43 carnival season. The story is based on the fatal marriage between Roman Emperor Nero and Poppea Sabina.