a la recherche
The fourth opera in the Monteverdi trilogy
In Monteverdi's Musical Theatre (2002),
Tim Carter writes that Monteverdi regarded Arianna, composed in Mantua the year after Orfeo, as 'his greatest work for the stage'; he revived it as his first production for the public theatre in Venice (1640); it came closest the via naturale alla immitatione, a 'natural way to represent' drama in music.
Monteverdi's Tragedy in Music, Arianna, was premiered in 1608 alongside the Ballo delle Ingrate. This phase of intense creativity also saw the publications of his Scherzi Musicali (1607), Orfeo (1609) and Vespers (1610).
But apart from the famous Lamento (and a few fragments of dialogue preserved along with it in Luigi Rossi's manuscript), the music for Arianna is entirely lost.
Andrew Lawrence-King applies the latest academic insights into surviving historical documents and channels Monteverdi's c1608 publications to set Rinuccini's complete libretto around the surviving musical fragments, allowing the drama and emotions of Arianna's Lament to be experienced in their full operatic context for the first time since the seventeenth century.
Arianna a la recherche was premiered in a production with historical staging by OPERA OMNIA at Moscow State Theatre 'Natalya Sats' in 2017. A CD recording is in progress. The opera will be performed in a semi-staged production by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir & Ensemble Floridante in 2023.