The Return of Ulysses
Yesterday afternoon I attended a performance of Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (1640) by Claudio Monteverdi. This Chicago Opera Theater production was an excellent conclusion to their multi-year presentation of Monteverdi's three complete operas from the early seventeenth century. They had previously presented his Orfeo (1607) and L'incoronazione di Poppea (1642). The current production of Ulysses benefited both from outstanding performances by a large singing ensemble and orchestra. The production set was efficient, yet elegant in an unobtrusive way. Overall this opera has survived the decades because it can still provide musical joy for opergoers like those of us who shared yesterday's beautiful performance.