Claudio Monteverdi was born on May 9th, 1567 in Cremona, Italy.
Though not very well-known by many people today, Monteverdi was an important figure in the development of music history. He is largely credited to bridging the gap between the High Renaissance and Baroque eras.
He composed both secular and sacred vocal music in multiple different genres, including madrigals, masses, motets, magnificat, and canzonette. However, it would be easy to argue that his greatest contribution would be to opera, as he created the first great masterpieces in that genre.
His first foray into opera came in 1607 with, “Orpheus”.
After “Orpheus”, none of Monteverdi’s other operas were printed and, unfortunately, most have been completely lost.
In addition to Orpheus, two others have survived. In 1641 he composed “The Return of Ulysses”, and in 1642, “The Coronation of Poppea.”
In the 1640s, towards the end of his life, Monteverdi played a major role in the inauguration of public opera, a radical concert to the traditional High Renaissance standard, yet socially accepted and common throughout the Baroque Period.
Monteverdi died on November 29th, 1643 in Venice, Italy at the age of 76.