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A pioneer in the development of opera, Claudio Monteverdi took vocal music beyond Renaissance polyphony into an era in which genuine feelings and emotions could be expressed. Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria is part of a late flowering in Monteverdi's illustrious career, and is considered the most profoundly tender and moving of his operas. It's hero Ulysses is forced to undergo cruel tests, hardships, treachery and deception before he can be reunited with his beloved queen Penelope and recover his kingdom. This acclaimed production is conducted by renowned early music specialist Ottavio Dantone, who considers Il ritorno di Ulisse in patria to be 'the most beautiful opera ever written.'