Over the course of 2017, Venice has been celebrating the 450th anniversary of the birth of Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) – the renowned Italian composer who lived and died in the city, and is regarded as the first true pioneer of opera as an art form. Follow in his footsteps by visiting these Venetian venues that are closely associated with his life and legacy:
Basilica di San Marco:
From 1613 until his death in 1643, Monteverdi held the position of maestro di capella at St Mark’s – a role that involved recruiting, training and managing the basilica’s musicians, as well as composing music for all major religious feasts.
Scuola Grande San Rocco:
Much of Monteverdi’s music was performed at the Scuola Grande San Rocco, a grand charitable institution which is still running today. His popular motet Beatus Vir was one of several works that were first performed here, in the sala superiore – a magnificent hall lined with paintings by Tintoretto.
Hotel Danieli: Originally known as Palazzo Dandolo, this 5 star hotel was once home to Monteverdi’s patron Girolamo Mocenigo. His groundbreaking operatic madrigal, Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda was first performed here in 1624 as part of a wedding celebration.
Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari:
End your pilgrimage at the Frari, where you’ll find Monteverdi’s simple tomb in a small chapel at the far end of the church. Often strewn with roses and messages from devoted admirers, his grave is marked by a stone plaque and bust beneath an altarpiece depicting two heavenly lutenists.
It was only in the final part of his life that opera came into its own, with the opening of Venice’s first opera house in 1637. The city’s most famous opera house, Teatro La Fenice, opened in September 1792 with an opera by Giovanni Paisiello. One of Venice’s oldest theatres is Teatro Malibran, which opened in 1678, in the area where the houses of the family of Marco Polo used to be, close to Rialto. It was originally known as San Giovanni Grisostomo theatre and was renamed in 1835 after the famous Spanish soprano Maria Malibran. Malibran theatre, which had an important role during the years when La Fanice was being restored after the fire, is still in use today.
Venice is a world class experience for all art lovers and our San Marco Altana apartment is a super base from which to explore and discover the city.