David Bates returns to Brighton Festival this weekend (May 23), for two performances (and a live-stream) of Monteverdi’s monumental masterpiece the Vespro della Beata Vergine, a feast of sacred music unrivalled in the repertoire.

An ensemble of startling verve and versatility, La Nuova Musica has established a reputation as one the most dynamic consorts around.  Now it provides a bold new take on Monteverdi’s Vespers, featuring Joanne Lunn, Julia Doyle, Ben Johnson, Benjamin Hulett and Alessandro Fischer.

Relishing the worldly texts which Monteverdi chose to punctuate the psalm settings of the vespers, David Bates further blurs the boundaries between the sacred and the secular by adding other erotically charged works, including madrigals and excerpts from Monteverdi’s opera  L’Incoronazione di Poppea. The result usurps the religious nature of the piece to achieve something closer to the Renaissance synergy of heart, mind and body that would have been familiar to Monteverdi and his patrons.

This audacious but historically appropriate interpretation, using just ten solo singers and continuo players, revels in vocal virtuosity and the intimacy of sacred storytelling.

David Bates and La Nuova Musica will be bringing Monteverdi Vespers to the Wigmore Hall in October.

For information and tickets, please visit: brightonfestival.rrg