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Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (The Return of Ulysses to His Homeland) is undoubtedly the least-known of the three surviving operas of Claudio Monteverdi, and its authenticity was long doubted. Composed in 1639, it has been called the first modern opera; it shows signs of the differentiation into recitative, arioso, and aria that would come into full bloom with Monteverdi's late masterpiece, L'incoronazione di Poppea. The opera travels the dramatically fertile ground of Ulysses' return home after his Odyssey, only to find ...

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