Serenissima – November 4 & 5, 2023
Venice has been known as “La Serenissima,” for centuries: its formal name was “The Most Serene Republic of Venice.” The Queen of the Adriatic was a one of Europe’s wealthiest cities and and for well-to-do travelers from across the continent flocked, her famous Carnival season was a must-see stop. Debauchery abounded, and opera came to take center stage. Later, revelers could atone for their indiscretions in the splendor of St. Mark’s Cathedral, whose staff musicians included none other than Claudio Monteverdi. Music from 17th-century Venice featuring five vocal soloists accompanied by an instrumental ensemble, with works by Monteverdi, Caccini, Cavalli, Biber, and more. Click here to learn more.
Terremoto! – February 17 & 18, 2024
On the morning of All Saints’ Day in 1755, a massive earthquake struck off the coast of Iberia and Morocco, causing regional destruction and decimating Lisbon, the capital city of the wealthy Portuguese empire. Word quickly spread, horrifying Europeans and inspiring such works as Voltaire’s Candide and Telemann’s Donner-Ode. This concert will tell the story of the quake and its aftermath, featuring readings from contemporaneous sources interspersed among music from 18th-century Portugal, much of which has never before been performed in the US. Music for orchestra, choir, and vocal soloists by Teixeira, Almeida, Scarlatti, Rameau, Telemann, and more. Click here to learn more.
Lusitania Liberata – May 18 & 19, 2024
In 1640 after 60 years of rule by Spain, the Portuguese people declared their independence, acclaiming the Duke of Bragança as King João IV. With help from their long-time ally England, Portugal triumphed in 1668 and Spain was forced to recognize their independence. D. João IV was a musician and scholar and assembled the largest music library in Europe, in addition to supporting Portuguese musicians at home and in Italy where many studied. This program tells the story of Portugal’s liberation via music from 16th- and 17th-century Portugal, Spain, and England by Machado, Rebelo, Lôbo, Lawes, Gibbons, Cabanilles, Hidalgo, and others, interspersed with readings from 17th-century sources. Click here to learn more.