Boston Baroque - Monteverdi: Ulisse - The Guardian
There are blood, guts and anguish aplenty in Monteverdi's 1640 opera, but a nuanced account should also portray the hurt and isolation of an ageing war veteran. The drama covers books 13-23 of Homer's Odyssey, in which the hero returns to his wife Penelope after 20 years' absence, slays her suitors and leaves us pondering how such a casually brutal act can sit alongside his noble image. Claudio Monteverdi's surviving manuscript is tantalisingly free-form - big holes in ensemble parts, bits and bobs added in footnotes, no fixed instrumentation - and conductor Martin Pearlman's edition for the Boston Baroque fills in the gaps diligently. This performance is technically solid with some fine playing from the orchestra.