Chelsea MonthlyentertainmentGeneral NewsLocal NewsMusic

Sir John Eliot Gardiner to direct the first Accademia Monteverdi at Monteverdi Tuscany


We are pleased to announce that Sir John Eliot Gardiner will lead a handpicked group of singers who will be in residence at Monteverdi Tuscany from 22-26 April 2014, for the very first Accademia Monteverdi.

The Accademia Monteverdi, created by Sir John Eliot Gardiner for Monteverdi’s arts programme, will consist of a series of masterclasses by Sir John Eliot. Over a period of five days Sir John Eliot will work with, ten talented emerging opera singers – some of whom have already made their names with this repertoire in prominent opera houses and concert halls. The Accademia will focus in particular on the music of Claudio Monteverdi, fittingly the inspiration for the name of the Monteverdi Hotel and Villas that comprise Monteverdi Tuscany and also of Sir John Eliot’s famous Monteverdi Choir, which celebrates it’s 50th Anniversary this year. Sharing with his exact contemporary, William Shakespeare, a desire to encompass the whole gamut of human emotion in his work, Claudio Monteverdi is widely considered to be the creator of modern music. Having marked the transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque, Monteverdi’s work has often been regarded as revolutionary, and has been a passion of Sir John Eliot’s for many decades.


The Accademia Monteverdi will conclude on Saturday 26 April, with a concert directed by Sir John Eliot Gardiner to showcase the achievements of the participants and will feature repertoire which the singers have worked on during the week.

Guests of Monteverdi Tuscany will be granted unprecedented access to observe Sir Gardiner and the singers during selected sessions of the masterclass as well as the final concert. This experience will provide guests with an incomparable insight into the process of music making, and allows them to hear how the participants’ performance evolves under Gardiner’s guidance throughout the week. The concluding concert will take place in the Chiesa S’Andrea, a 13th Century Romanesque Church in the centre of Castiglioncello del Trinoro. The church has undergone a major renovation as part of the ongoing revival of Monteverdi Tuscany, improving the acoustics and making the historic building concert- ready. Some of the participants may also be offered roles in Gardiner’s forthcoming performances of Monteverdi operas in Europe and the USA. In addition Monteverdi Tuscany will invite other participants in the Accademia Monteverdi to give future concerts at Monteverdi Tuscany as part of its continuous artist in residence programming.

Considered one of the most versatile conductors of his generation and a key figure in the early music revival of the past four decades, Sir John Eliot Gardiner is most renowned for his interpretations of Baroque music on period instruments. He is the founder and artistic director of the Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque soloists and the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique.

In addition to being a brilliant conductor, Sir Gardiner is also an historian, musicologist and author of the first order. His recent book — Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven — has received praise and critical acclaim around the world. It is destined to become a canonical masterpiece, not just about Bach, but about music and the artistic process as well.

The Monteverdi arts programme launched in September 2013 with an exhibition by Marvin Gaye Chetwynd. Directed by Sarah McCrory, Director of Glasgow International, the Monteverdi arts programme will see creatives from different disciplines produce work while based at Monteverdi. The aim of the programme is for creatives to stay at Monteverdi to nurture emerging talent and develop their own skills. For the length of their residency, the creative will become part of the community at Castiglioncello del Trinoro and contribute to the area’s cultural landscape. Over the summer of 2013, Chetwynd spent six weeks at Monteverdi to continue her series of Bat Opera paintings after a hiatus of seven years. The new series of work has resulted in a new book which will be released at the end of 2014.

To coincide with the Accademia Monteverdi, Sarah McCrory has curated the second exhibition at the Monteverdi Gallery, a space devoted to showing international artists at the property in Tuscany. The exhibition, Songs Without Words is about music, without sound. It draws together works by a number of artists, who, within their mode of practice or works, incorporate qualities often attributed to the formation of sounds, songs and compositions.

Drawing on aspects of composition such as cadence, tempo, rhythm and the passion and energy of musical performance, this exhibition includes prints, painting and video by four internationally renowned artists hailing from Norway, the USA and Germany.