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Monteverdi 450 Series wins prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award

The Monteverdi 450 Series – a landmark semi-staged presentation of Monteverdi’s three surviving operas – has won the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award in the Opera and Musical Theatre Category.

On 9 May the ambitious series was named the best opera performance by the Society, who celebrate the highest possible standards of excellence in all aspects of musicianship, after it “enraptured and amazed audiences worldwide” under the baton of Sir John Eliot Gardiner following its premiere performances at Colston Hall in April and May 2017.

The series, that staged the operas Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patriaL’incoronazione di Poppea and L’Orfeo, blew both our audiences away and won the hearts of critics whose ecstatic reviews and rapturous applause won the series the title of the Guardian’s top classical event of 2017.

Our sister organisation and music education hub Bristol Plays Music has also received recognition for the education initiative we presented alongside the performances of the operas. The Monteverdi 450 project, presented with Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras, introduced the music to young people and, in the words of choir leader David Ogden, allowed the students to “take all the ideas that they’ve experienced and apply them to lots of different pieces of music that they sing.”

The project, that saw world-class musicians from English Baroque Soloists and Monteverdi Choir present masterclasses to the young people that BPM work with, was nominated for the RPS Awards Learning and Participation category.  The legacy of the project has continued into 2018 and we continue to introduce and inspire young people to the music of Monteverdi over a year after its creation through our choir sessions with Bristol Youth Choir.

We’re so proud to have been able to present this iconic series of operas with English Baroque Soloists and Monteverdi Choir and focus the world’s classical music eye on Bristol. A huge congratulations goes to all who have been involved with the project and the major successes it has enjoyed world-wide.