The birth of opera

The mystery of life

In this episode, we’ll discover the origin of opera. And we’ll do so by following Mar’s pregnancy as a metaphor. We’ll go on a double journey: the life journey of a future baby and a real journey to Florence and Mantua, through the history of music, of its evolution and gestation, until it gives birth a genre as universal as the one we’re here for.

We’ll begin our voyage in the city of Florence. There, we’ll chat with Father Bernardo, from the abbey of San Miniato al Monte, who will explain the keys of Gregorian chanting, and polyphony, one of the first steps toward our objective.

At the same time, we’ll accompany Mar to her appointments with her Ob/Gyn. We’ll talk with her over video-conference calls and we’ll discover her wishes and hopes. To get to know the type of music and plays that were being put on during the Renaissance, we’ll meet the choral group Ol'Green. Through their songs we’ll discover the step just prior to opera: Madrigal theater.

And to know more about the Florentine Camerata, a group of Renaissance intellectuals who devoted themselves to the study of trends in art, music and theater, we’ll interview Florentine writer and journalist Rodolfo Tommasi, who since 1964 has spearheaded plenty of activity in his hometown in the realm of literature, music and entertainment.

We’ll end our trip in Mantua in order to discover how the great Claudio Monteverdi further developed what the members of the Florentine Camerata had done and—by composing and premiering L’Orfeo, favola in musica—gave rise to the birth of opera.
Finally, and to complete this parallelism between opera and life, we’ll witness the birth of Mar’s son, in an emotional sequence that will surprise everyone.

"Orfeo" Based on a staging of Zurich Opera House UNITEL ORF 1978
"L'incoronazione di Poppea" Gran Teatre del Liceu, 2009

Ol’ Green
Bernardo Francesco Gianni
Rodolfo Tommasi