John Eliot Gardiner

John Eliot Gardiner Conducts L'Orfeo

PBP_0527-Monteverdi-Choir,-EBS-at-Buckingham-Palace-(Credit-Paul-Burns)_1* Notes * 
John Eliot Gardiner, the English Baroque Soloists, and the Monteverdi Choir (pictured left, photograph by Paul Burns) performed a beautiful L'Orfeo, Favola in musica at San Francisco Symphony's Davies Hall last night. The playing was elegant, even the brass instruments sounded clean. The singing was even and lovely. The vigorous choristers sounded together.

Despite being billed as a concert version of the piece, there were clearly costumes and choreography. The orchestra was split in the middle, with Maestro Gardiner stage left center, and the choir upstage on risers. This left an aisle for the singers, and much dancing occurred here. The female chorus dressed in bright, short dresses for the acts in The Fields of Thrace and in black, long gowns for the acts in The Underworld. The choir had a lively stage presence.

Most of the principal voices were exceedingly pretty. Soprano Francesca Aspromonte (Music/Messenger) has a bird-like sound with some fire, while Mariana Flores was an ethereal Euridice and warbling Hope. Francesca Boncompagni's breathing was noticeable as Proserpina, but her voice is suitably plaintive. Tenor Krystian Adam was warm and genial as the First Shepherd. Tenor Nicolas Mulroy sang a subdued Apollo.

The bass voice of Gianluca Buratto (Caronte/Plutone) is well-supported and rich with impressive low notes. Tenor Andrew Tortise seamlessly sang the title role. He could have conveyed more mournfulness in Act IV, but his voice is bright and gorgeous.

* Tattling * 
The opera was performed without an intermission but those around me on the Orchestra Level were silent and attentive.

Upcoming L'Orfeo at SFS

Gardiner-col-portrait-Credit-Sheila-Rock@DeccaSir John Eliot Gardiner (pictured left, photograph by Sheila Rock) is touring the United States with the English Baroque Soloists and the Monteverdi Choir from April 19 to May 1, 2015. They are performing a concert version of Monteverdi's L'Orfeo at Davies Hall in San Francisco on April 27, 2015. This concert and others are featured in San Francisco Symphony's Spring Sale, which started yesterday and runs until April 15, 2015.

US Tour Monteverdi | Spring Sale

Lucerne Festival zu Ostern 2013 Chorkonzert 3

John-eliot-gardiner* Notes * 
John Eliot Gardiner conducted (pictured left, photograph by Sheila Rock / Decca) English Baroque Soloists and Monteverdi Choir in Johannes-Passion BWV 245 at Lucerne Festival Friday night. The playing was crisp and genial, and any intonation errors were within reason given the period instruments. The singing was lucid and very much together. The choir has a gorgeous, clean sound.

The soloists are all fine singers. Hannah Morrison sang the soprano aria "Ich folge dir gleichfalls mit freudigen Schritten" with a spring-like freshness. Meg Bragle sang "Es ist vollbracht!" with strength. Tenor Nicolas Mulroy (Evangelist) was only slightly quiet when singing with the full ensemble, otherwise his voice is pleasant, while Andrew Tortise sounded sweet singing the tenor arias. Dietrich Henschel (Jesus) and Peter Harvey (Pontius Pilate and bass arias) made for a good contrast vocally.

* Tattling * 
The woman in Gallery 3 Left Seat 16 spoke on a few occasions during the music, while the men in Seats 19 and 20 tended to only whisper slightly. There were a lot of coughs when the orchestra was tuning between parts.