The birth of opera began around 1600 in Florence, where this new genre was used to accompany important political events. The court conductor Marco da Gagliano, who had also become acquainted with Monteverdi's new style during his time in Mantua, created a whole series of operas for the Medici house, but only two have survived. His opera "La Flora", to a libretto by the Florentine court poet Andrea Salvadori, was written for the wedding celebrations of Margerita de' Medici to the Duke of Parma Odoardo Farnese in 1628. The mythological material has many political references and tells of the love between the wind Zeffiro and the nymph Clori, who changes her name to "Flora" when she marries and gives birth to many kinds of flowers. Botticelli had already pictorially realised this myth 40 years earlier in his "Birth of Venus" and "La Primavera". For the present recording, more than a dozen solo singers, choristers and a large instrumental cast have come together to bring Gagliano's opera back to life almost 400 years after it's premiere!