The Full Monteverdi DVD

In 2002, opera director John La Bouchardière came to I Fagiolini with a dangerous idea about staging Monteverdi’s fouth book of madrigals. In 2004 the live show, with six despairing couples hidden amongs the audience, was first launched. 88 performances later in 2007, it closed with a run at the Lincoln Center, New York. Breaking most of the rules about how this music is performed, it brought a new emotional depth to those experiencing this music live. Read more about the live show in Signature Projects.

In 2007, John reconceived the project for film and this was shot that year by Polyphonic Films. It has been broadcast around the world and also released as a DVD by Naxos.

“A brilliant film… a searing dramatisation of the 17th-century Italian’s madrigals.” The Times

Monteverdi’s music, published in 1603 at the height of his madrigal composition stage, explores differing emotional states of abandoned lovers through the most dramatic and amazingly modern music for vocal ensemble. The Full Monteverdi follows the simultaneous break-up of six couples, from shocking revelation, vengeful anger and erotic longing for reconciliation, as an ensemble film. Vulnerable and disarming, it draws viewers into its emotional journey and intensely moving portrait of contemporary love.

“Fantastic! I wish the word ‘brilliant’ had not been so overused, so that I could summon it to praise this film.” American Record GuideBuy The Full Monteverdi on DVD from Polyphonic Films

The film takes place over an evening and following morning, with several scenes shot as flashback, giving viewers the back story to the lovers’ downfall. The film is sung throughout.

“This is a remarkably original conception, carried out with astonishing success. I have never realized the meaning of a set of madrigals as clearly as I did here.” Fanfare (USA)

Learn more:

“La Bouchardière’s concept finds its ideal realisation in film. Brilliant.” Fono Forum (Germany)

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