Press Room: Il Ritorno di Ulisse in Patria

Il ritorno di Ulisse in patria (foto Michele Monasta-Maggio Musicale Fiorentino)

Review | Opera Wire | Maggio Musicale 2021 Review: Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria | July 2021

“The musical side of the production was in the hands of Ottavio Dantone, one of the world’s foremost practicing baroque specialists. For this performance of “Il Ritorno d‘Ulisse in Patria,” he was required to produce a working edition, as Monteverdi’s score is incomplete. The result was an engaging, dramatically centered, and sensitive composition, which blended neatly with Monteverdi’s existing framework, in which he created an array of varied textures and rhythmic sensitivities that successfully aided in the building of the dramatic tension within the scenes. Under his direction, the Accademia Bizantina produced a strong, energetic performance with a pleasing balance that allowed individual instruments to shine. Their playing was precise, vibrant, and always sensitive to the onstage drama.”

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Review | HuffPost (Italy) | Diario della riapertura. 16) Firenze/Roma, uno strepitoso Monteverdi e un Trovatore disturbato | July 2021

“Such an exemplary product, also in terms of music and splendid cast (Ulysses Charles Workman, Telemaco Anicio Zorzi Giustiniani, Penelope Delphine Galou, Iro John Daszak, Giove Gianluca Marghera, Nettuno Guido Loconsolo, Minerva Arianna Vendittelli, Melanto Miriam Albano, accompanied by the excellent Accademia Bizantina) should tour all the theatres of the country, reaching as many audiences as possible.”

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Review | Totalità (Italy) | ULISSE di Monteverdi: trionfo per il regista e per il direttore | July 2021

“The musical part also deserves wide praise. Maestro Ottavio Dantone undoubtedly carried out a great deal of study, concertation and coordination work with the singers and the director. While this work is undoubtedly always and in any case indispensable, in works such as these it takes on a very special significance, not least because of the particular conditions in which these works were received.”

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Review | La Stampa (Italy) | Verdi e Monteverdi: il Maggio musicale fiorentino vince con una doppietta| June 2021

“Ottavio Dantone conducts an impeccable Accademia Bizantina with liveliness, imagination and rhythmic freedom: it is one of those Monteverdi moments in which there seem to be more instruments in the pit than there actually are.”

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Review | Giornale della Musica (Italy) | Monteverdi nello specchio del teatro| June 2021

“Each performance requires the conductor to make a practical edition to fill out the scarce material, taking into account the compositional customs of the time, and certain typical associations between characters and/or situations, and instrumental timbres. All this was carried out with freedom and a certain exuberance based on the performance practice skills of Dantone and his group.”

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Interview | Cultweek (Italy) | Il ritorno di Ulisse: Dantone all’opera| June 2021

“According to Ottavio Dantone, Il ritorno di Ulisse in patria is the most beautiful opera ever written. Not only among Monteverdi’s operas. Until 8 July, he will conduct it at the Teatro della Pergola with his Accademia Bizantina, in a new Maggio production directed by none other than Robert Carsen, with whom Dantone has already worked on several productions, including Monteverdi’s Orfeo in Lausanne in 2016.”

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Review | il Reporter (Italy) | Il ritorno di Ulisse in patria al Teatro della Pergola| July 2021

“The conductor is Maestro Dantone, a specialist in this genre, who relies on his Accademia Bizantina instead of the Maggio orchestra for the instrumental part. This is an obvious choice, given that we are talking about a 17th century opera whose performance requires the use of period instruments such as the lute, the theorbo or the six-stringed violone, which have little or nothing to do with the instruments of a modern orchestra”.”

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Review | Opera Click (Italy) | Il ritorno di Ulisse in patria al Teatro della Pergola| July 2021

“Ottavio Dantone’s conducting obviously makes a decisive contribution to the success of the performance. He is well-balanced and brilliant in his use of accents and sonorities under the guidance of his precious instrumentalists from the Accademia Bizantina. The tasteful conducting and the softness of the gesture give soul, theatricality and colours to the not so short opera, for which, it is worth remembering, in every performance the conductor makes fundamental choices regarding orchestration and harmonisation.”

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Interview | La Repubblica Firenze (Italy) | Ulisse delle meraviglie “Effetti speciali e tagli per l’opera più bella” | June 2021

“”It is the most beautiful opera in history.” Ottavio Dantone has no doubts. For him, as a harpsichordist and conductor with a superlative knowledge of ancient performance practice, Claudio Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno di Ulisse in Patria is unparalleled in any other era.”

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Interview | La Nazione (Italy) | Musica antica? Un tesoro da riscoprire| June 2021

“«It was a truly wonderful feeling. Once the performance was over, there was great satisfaction in all of us, singers and instrumentalists, for having staged a very complex opera…»”

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(Photo © Michele Monasta – Maggio Musicale Fiorentino)

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