I do not go to hear performances of Monteverdi very often – indeed, I cannot recall hearing a live performance of Monteverdi since the 1980s – but when I do, I want them to sound like tonight’s.

The New York Continuo Collective presented excerpts from three Monteverdi operas this evening: L’Incoronazione di PoppeaIl Ritorno d’Ulisse, and L’Orfeo.  The mix of amateur and semi-professional musicians gave a spirited and intelligent presentation at a very high standard, under music director Grant Herreid.  The interpretation remained light – at times, toe-tappingly so.  The simple semi-staged scenes enabled the collection of singers (often sharing roles – in one case even tag-teaming) to demonstrate an infectious enthusiasm.


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