The Czech mezzo-soprano talks about her new album and describes her life-long love affair with Monteverdi.

Do you remember your first encounter with Monteverdi’s music? 

Yes, I was 14 years old. I was in my first year at the conservatory, studying singing, and I got a call from a quite famous group in the Czech Republic at the time, called the Madrigal Octet. Their second soprano was sick and they had a concert of madrigals that night, and they asked would I sing in the choir? I was quite good at sight-reading, so I thought it would be a great thing to do – when you’re young you think you can do anything! After that I was an occasional member of the group for the few next years and we did not only Monteverdi madrigals but a lot of Renaissance music, like Orlando di Lasso and that kind of repertoire. Then, by accident, when I was 16 I met a lute player and we started our own group. It was two singers, viola di gamba and the lute. We explored a lot of this music so I had studied nearly every possible song by Monteverdi by that age.