Italian Music and Art History: Florence and the Origins of Opera with Kate Bolton-Porciatti

Italian Music and Art History: Florence and the Origins of Opera with Kate Bolton-Porciatti


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.

A series of inter-disciplinary excursions led by cultural historian and musicologist Kate Bolton-Porciatti exploring the relationships between music, art, architecture, social and religious life in Italy’s most historic cultural centers. The six seminars may be enjoyed individually or as a series.

One of the greatest art forms to emerge from 16th-century Florence was that of opera - a 'total artwork'.  This conversation traces its roots in ancient Greek drama and poetic recitation. We see how a group of Florentine intellectuals and musicians – including Vincenzo Galilei, father of Galileo – explored the tangible remains of Greek drama and music in a desire to revive the performance styles of ancient tragedy. Their discussions and experiments led to staged ‘fables in music’ and to the first operas, based on the love-myths of Daphne and Apollo, Orpheus and Eurydice.  

Together we virtually visit the Florentine palazzi where these early operas were performed and set them in the broader forum of Italian court politics. The conversation will be illustrated with musical examples and slides of paintings, sculptures, and buildings relating to the first operas.

Led by an expert on Italian culture and music, Kate Bolton-Porciatti, this Conversation will show how music took center stage in the theatre of Florentine artistry. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the seminal role that Florence played in the history of music-drama and a deeper understanding of the language of opera.

Bundle and Save: Get 15% off when you purchase any 5 seminars. (Discount applied automatically at checkout.)

Kate Bolton-Porciatti is a professor of Italian cultural history and music at the Istituto Lorenzo de'Medici in Florence, where she teaches BA and MA courses in the humanities. She also lectures at the British Institute, Florence, and at the Chigiana Music Academy in Siena. Kate has published extensively as an academic and a journalist; she is a music critic for BBC Music and a travel writer for The Daily Telegraph, UK. Before moving to Italy permanently in 2005, she was a senior producer and broadcaster for BBC Arts & Classical Music in London and has won prestigious Jerusalem and Sony Awards for her programs. She did her M.Phil. thesis in Italy, exploring the musical culture of early Renaissance Florence.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews
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(5)
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G
G.G.
Florence and the origins of opera

What a wonderful presentation. I knew nothing about the beginnings of opera so this was new and fascinating to me.

A
A. (Kronberg, DE)

Guest did not leave comment

K
K.H. (Oakland, US)
No title

I am continually bowled over by the beauty and of course the intellectual depth of Kate's presentations! Today listening to the selections of early opera that she had chosen was breath taking! The only thing better would have been to be in Florence listening to them. Kate truly does transport one! Thank you so much Kate for enriching life! Warm regards.

D
D.B. (Casper, US)
Beginnings of Italian opera

Perhaps a bit esoteric but very thorough presentation on early Italian operas.

S
S.G. (Wilmette, US)
Outstanding

A comprehensive and outstanding presentation on the origins of opera in Florence. Kate added glorious music interludes. I will have a greater understanding of opera when I next attend a performance.

Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews
100%
(5)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
G
G.G.
Florence and the origins of opera

What a wonderful presentation. I knew nothing about the beginnings of opera so this was new and fascinating to me.

A
A. (Kronberg, DE)

Guest did not leave comment

K
K.H. (Oakland, US)
No title

I am continually bowled over by the beauty and of course the intellectual depth of Kate's presentations! Today listening to the selections of early opera that she had chosen was breath taking! The only thing better would have been to be in Florence listening to them. Kate truly does transport one! Thank you so much Kate for enriching life! Warm regards.

D
D.B. (Casper, US)
Beginnings of Italian opera

Perhaps a bit esoteric but very thorough presentation on early Italian operas.

S
S.G. (Wilmette, US)
Outstanding

A comprehensive and outstanding presentation on the origins of opera in Florence. Kate added glorious music interludes. I will have a greater understanding of opera when I next attend a performance.