Italian Music and Art History: Renaissance in the Walled City of Ferrara with Kate Bolton-Porciatti

Italian Music and Art History: Renaissance in the Walled City of Ferrara with Kate Bolton-Porciatti


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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 seminars may be enjoyed individually or as a series.

Our fifth conversation will explore the elegant, walled, and moated city of Ferrara – one of the jewels of the Italian Renaissance.  In the 15th and 16th centuries, thanks to the patronage of successive generations of Este dukes, Ferrara grew into a cultural center renowned for its music as well as the visual arts.

We shed light on the celebrated frescoes of Palazzo Schifanoia – a ‘pleasure palace’ adorned with colorful scenes of courtly music-making - and we de-code the musical allegories and metaphors of court painters Dosso Dossi and Bartolomeo Veneto. 

Against this backdrop, we see how the Este dukes cultivated music to define their image:  from the lute-playing Duke Leonello, via Duke Ercole – a highly devout patron of sacred music - to Alfonso II who patronized a celebrated group of professional female musicians known as the Concerto delle Donne;  their virtuosic singing style was to have a profound impact on the history of music and on the financial independence of women.  Finally, we touch on the patronage and passions of Renaissance Ferrara’s most famous personages:  Isabella d’Este and Lucrezia Borgia.

Led by an expert on Italian culture and music, Kate Bolton-Porciatti, this Conversation will connect the threads between music and art at the Este court. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased appreciation of the cultural significance of Renaissance Ferrara.

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 2 reviews
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P
P.V.E. (Longmont, US)
Remarkable and original presentation

Memorable and valuable experience. The presenter avoids the usual guide book generalizations and apocryphal stories to present learned and compelling analyses of many works.

S
S.M. (New York, US)
Italian Music and Art: Ferrara

As usual, an absolutely delightful seminar with Prof. Bolton-Porciatti. Music, art and so much lovely information. Brava!

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
100%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
P
P.V.E. (Longmont, US)
Remarkable and original presentation

Memorable and valuable experience. The presenter avoids the usual guide book generalizations and apocryphal stories to present learned and compelling analyses of many works.

S
S.M. (New York, US)
Italian Music and Art: Ferrara

As usual, an absolutely delightful seminar with Prof. Bolton-Porciatti. Music, art and so much lovely information. Brava!