List of operas by Claudio Monteverdi
Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643) wrote several works for the stage between 1604 and 1643, including ten in the then-emerging opera genre. Of these, both the music and libretto for three are extant: L'Orfeo (1607), Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (1640) and L'incoronazione di Poppea (1643). Seven other opera projects are known; four were completed and performed during Monteverdi's lifetime, while he abandoned another three at some point. The libretto has survived for some of these lost operas.
The opera genre emerged during Monteverdi's earlier career, first as courtly entertainment trying to revive Greek theatre.  The first known work to be regarded as an opera in the modern sense is Dafne (1598) by Jacopo Peri, and his Euridice (1600) is the earliest surviving one.  Since Monteverdi served as the court composer for the Gonzaga family from 1590 to 1612, he likely joined Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga in Florence for the 6 October 1600 premiere of Euridice.  While Monteverdi's own impressions of the work are unknown, the duke realised the potential of this new art form and sought to gain prestige from the patronage of it.  Therefore, he commissioned Monteverdi in late 1606 for a work which is now considered as the "birth of Western Opera",  L'Orfeo, on a libretto by Alessandro Striggio the Younger. 
In 1613 Monteverdi became maestro di cappella at St Mark's Basilica in Venice, where he continued to compose operas for the Gonzaga court and later for the Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo.   The only two to survive are Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria on a libretto by Giacomo Badoaro and his final opera, L'incoronazione di Poppea, on a book by Giovanni Francesco Busenello. Seven of his operas are lost. Of these, L'Arianna, Andromeda, Proserpina rapita and Le nozze d'Enea con Lavinia were completed and performed during Monteverdi's lifetime. The other three lost operas, Le nozze di Tetide, La finta pazza Licori and Armida abbandonata, were never finished, so it is unknown how much music was completed, if any. For some of them, at least the libretto survived, by authors including Scipione Agnelli, Ercole Marigliani, Ottavio Rinuccini, Giulio Strozzi and Torquato Tasso. 
The term opera was not widely used until the late 17th century, so Monteverdi's musical stage works were known by various names such as favola in musica (musical fable), dramma in musica (musical drama), or tragedia in musica (musical tragedy).  Monteverdi was instrumental in developing and popularizing the genre for public musical theatre, his L'Orfeo is the earliest opera still regularly performed.  
|Period [a]||Title||Status||Genre ||Librettist||Premiere||SV [b]|
|1606–07||L'Orfeo||survived||Favola in musica||Striggio||Mantua
4 February 1607
|Ducal Palace||Mantua Carnival||318|
|1607–08||L'Arianna||fragments||Tragedia in musica||Rinuccini||Mantua
28 May 1608
|Ducal Palace||Ducal wedding||291|
|1616–17||Le nozze di Tetide||lost||Favola marittima [c]||Agnelli||Incomplete||Ducal wedding||–|
|1618–20||Andromeda||libretto||Favola in musica||Marigliani||Mantua
1 March 1620
|Ducal Palace (probably) ||Mantua Carnival ||–|
|1626||Armida abbandonata||libretto||–||Tasso [d]||Incomplete||Ducal wedding ||–|
|1627||La finta pazza Licori||lost||–||Strozzi||Incomplete||Possibly ducal ascension ||–|
|1630||Proserpina rapita||fragment [e]||Anatopismo [f]||Strozzi||Venice
16 April 1630
|1640||Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria||survived||Dramma per musica||Badoaro||Venice
|Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo||Venice Carnival||325|
|1640||Le nozze d'Enea con Lavinia [g]||libretto||Tragedia di lieto fine||Badoaro||Venice
|Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo||Venice Carnival||–|
|1643||L'incoronazione di Poppea||survived||Dramma musicale [h]||Busenello||Venice
|Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo||Venice Carnival||308|
|Period [a]||Title||Status||Genre ||Librettist||Premiere||SV [b]|
|1639||L'Arianna||fragments||Tragedia in musica||Rinuccini||Venice
|San Moisè||Venice Carnival||291|
(English: " Orfeo")
Monteverdi composed L'Orfeo, a favola in musica (story in music), to a libretto by Alessandro Striggio for the annual carnival season in Mantua in 1607. Commissioned by the Accademia degli Invaghiti, it was premiered at the Ducal Palace on 4 February 1607.  The work is the earliest opera still frequently performed and recorded.  The libretto is written with dramatic instinct, different from earlier experiments in the new genre. 
(English: " Ariadne")
L'Arianna, a tragedia in musica (tragedy in music), was written for the wedding celebrations of Duke Vincenzo's oldest son and heir Francesco and Margaret of Savoy. The libretto by Rinuccini is based on the Greek Ariadne myth. It was premiered at the Ducal Palace on 28 May 1608. 
(English: "The wedding of Thetis")
Le nozze di Tetide, a favola marittima (maritime story), [c] was a project for the wedding celebrations of Duke Ferdinando and Catherine de' Medici. Monteverdi was given the libretto by Scipione Agnelli without an author's name, which he criticised in a December 1616 letter.  He began the composition,  until the commission was withdrawn in January 1617. 
Andromeda is a favola in musica commissioned by Don Vincenzo Gonzaga for the Mantua Carnival of March 1618, set to a libretto by Marigliani. Due to Monteverdi's disinterest it took two years to complete and premiered during the 1620 Carnival season, 1–3 March.   The music is lost, but the libretto, long believed lost, was rediscovered in 1984. 
(English: "The abandoned Armida")
Armida abbandonata was written to a libretto by Torquato Tasso, [d] and intended for the wedding celebrations of Duke Odoardo of Parma and Margherita de' Medici. Monteverdi completed the score, but the performance was canceled due to the duke's death at the end of December 1627. Only a song for three voices, "Come dolce oggi l'auretta", survives.  
(English: "The feigned madwoman Licori")
La finta pazza Licori was commissioned by the Mantua court secretary, Alessandro Striggio the Younger, probably to celebrate the ascension of Duke Vincenzo II.   The work is the first known attempt at a comic opera,  but Striggio did not like Strozzi's libretto and cancelled the commission in September 1627. 
(English: "The rape of Proserpine")
Proserpina rapita, an anatopismo, [f] was composed to a libretto by Strozzi for the wedding celebrations of Lorenzo Giustiniani and Giustiniana Mocenigo, and premiered at the Mocenigo Palace in Venice on 16 April 1630.  Only a song for three voices, "Come dolce oggi l'auretta", survived. 
(English: "The return of Ulysses to his homeland")
After the first public theatre opened in Venice, the Teatro San Cassiano in 1637, Monteverdi composed a trilogy of operas for public theatre in Venice, beginning with Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, a dramma per musica, to a libretto by Badoaro.  It was premiered at the Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo during the 1639–40 carnival season. 
Le nozze d'Enea con Lavinia [g], a tragedia di lieto fine (happy ending tragedy), with another libretto by Badoaro, was the second opera written for the Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo and first performed in the 1640–41 carnival season. While the libretto survives, the music is lost.  
(English: "The coronation of Poppaea")
L'incoronazione di Poppea is a dramma musicale [h] set to a libretto by Busenello. It is the final opera of the trilogy written for the Teatro Santi Giovanni e Paolo, where it was first performed during the 1643 carnival season. It was one of the first operas based on historical events and people.  
- Period at which the opera was written
- Catalogue number in the Stattkus-Verzeichnis, if assigned
- The exact genre of this work is uncertain and referred to in a number of ways: an "opera", an "operatic composition", or a favola marittima (" sea story"), the name by which Monteverdi first described it.  
- The words were not written specifically for the opera as they were adapted from poems by Tasso. 
- Only a single song for three voices, "Come dolce oggi l'auretta", survives. 
- Known as an "anatopismo", but the meaning of the term is unknown. 
- Alternatively known as Le nozze d'Enea e Lavinia or Le nozze d'Enea in Lavinia
- Sometimes referred to as an "opera regia" 
- Brown et al. 2001.
- Sonneck 1913, p. 102.
- Sternfeld 1986, p. 26.
- Ringer 2006, p. 16.
- Moller, Nathalie (24 February 2017). "L'Orfeo de Claudio Monteverdi est-il le premier opéra ?" [Is Orfeo by Claudio Monteverdi the first ever opera?]. France Musique (in French).
- Ringer 2006, pp. 16, 43.
- Carter 2002, pp. 1–3.
- Fabbri 1994, p. 2.
- Carter 2002, pp. 298–305.
- Ringer 2006, pp. 43.
- "The Root Of All Opera: Monteverdi's 'Orfeo'". NPR. 8 January 2010.
- Information is from Carter 2002, pp. 298–305 unless otherwise noted.
- Carter & Chew 2001.
- Carter 2002, p. 48.
- Ringer 2006, p. 113.
- Carter 2002, pp. 167–168.
- Stevens 1980, pp. 311–13.
- Fabbri 1994, pp. 201–204, 223.
- Fabbri 1994, pp. 198–199.
- Fabbri 1994, p. 223.
- Fabbri 1994, p. 221.
- Information is from Carter & Chew 2001.
- Carter 2002, p. 298.
- Weinstock & Hanning 2020.
- Ringer 2006, pp. 43–44.
- Carter 2002, p. 299.
- Fabbri 1994, pp. 148–151.
- Fabbri 1994, p. 151.
- Carter 2002, p. 301.
- Carter 2002, pp. 167–168, 301.
- Fabbri 1994, p. 154.
- Rosenthal 1985, pp. 1–8.
- Fabbri 1994, pp. 201–204.
- Carter 2002, p. 303.
- Ringer 2006, pp. 111–113.
- Carter 2002, p. 304.
- Ringer 2006, pp. 130–131.
- Carter 2002, p. 305.
- Carter, Tim (2002). Monteverdi's Musical Theatre. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-09676-7.
- Fabbri, Paolo (1994). Monteverdi. Carter, Tim (tr.). Cambridge (UK): Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-35133-1. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter ( link)
- Ringer, Mark (2006). Opera's First Master: The Musical Dramas of Claudio Monteverdi. Newark, New Jersey: Amadeus Press. ISBN 978-1-57467-110-0. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter ( link)
- Sternfeld, F.W. (1986). "The Orpheus myth and the libretto of Orfeo" in Whenham, John (ed.): Claudio Monteverdi: Orfeo. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-24148-9.
- Stevens, Denis (1980). The Letters of Claudio Monteverdi. New York: Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge. ISBN 978-0-521-23591-4. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter ( link)
- Brown, Howard; Rosand, Ellen; Strohm, Reinhard; Noiray, Michel; Parker, Roger; Whittall, Arnold; Savage, Roger; Millington, Barry (2001). "Opera (i)". Grove Music Online. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.40726. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter ( link) (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- Carter, Tim; Chew, Geoffrey (2001). "Monteverdi [Monteverde], Claudio". Grove Music Online. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.44352. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter ( link) (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- Rosenthal, Albi (January 1985). "Monteverdi's 'Andromeda': A Lost Libretto Found". Music & Letters. 66 (1): 1–8. doi: 10.1093/ml/66.1.1. JSTOR 855431. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter ( link) (subscription required)
- Sonneck, O. G. (1913). ""Dafne", the First Opera. A Chronological Study". Sammelbände der Internationalen Musikgesellschaft. 15 (1): 102–110. JSTOR 929391. (subscription required)
- Weinstock, Herbert; Hanning, Barbara Russano (2020). "Opera / Monteverdi". Encyclopædia Britannica. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter ( link)