Ludovico's Band

Monteverdi: Operatic Genius



Ludovico’s Band is one of Australia’s most dynamic Baroque bands acclaimed for its performances of music from the 16th to the 18th centuries.

The combination of multiple plucked string instruments with soaring violins and a rich bowed bass creates a unique and exotic sound world. Directed by Marshall McGuire (triple harp) and Tommie Andersson (lute, theorbo, Baroque guitar), the group features Rachael Beesley (violin), Samantha Cohen (theorbo, lute, Baroque guitar) and Ruth Wilkinson (recorders, viola da gamba). Formed in 2002 for the Melbourne Festival event, Sheer Pluck, the performers are united by the desire to form a plucked basso continuo band and regularly invite guests to feature in their performances.

Monteverdi’s name is synonymous with the genesis of what we now know as opera – the thrilling combination of text, music, drama and movement. Monteverdi was one of the first composers to write in this form, and one of the inventors of sung speech we now know as recitative. Operatic Genius presents dramatic excerpts from Poppea, L’Orfeo and Il ritorno d’Ulisse. Hear the extraordinary drama Monteverdi created with just a handful of violins, the human voice and basso continuo in a concert featuring guests from the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School Choir.

Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre & Ludivoco’s Band


Marshall McGuire harp
Tommie Andersson theorbo, baroque guitar
Samantha Cohen theorbo, baroque guitar
Ruth Wilkinson violone
Tom Baldwin harpsichord
Shane Lestideau violin
Lizzy Welsh violin
Students from VCASS choir, directed by Dermot Tutty
Helen Thomson (Fortuna, Poppea)
Erika Tandiono (Virtu)
Liane Keegan (Penelope, Ottavia)
Olivia O’Brien (Ericlea, Amore, Arnalta)


Claudio Monteverdi
L’orfeo: favola in musica (1607)
Act 1 – excerpts

Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (1640)
Act 1, scene 1 – Penelope & Ericlea

L’incoronazione di Poppea (1642)
Prologo – Fortuna, Virtu, Amore
Act One: Scene 5 – Disprezzata regina; Scene 6 – A dio Roma – Ottavia
Act Two: Scene 12 – Hor che Seneca e morta – Poppea & Arnalta