Throughout the Baroque period, Venice’s convents, orphanages, and other charitable institutions were fascinating micro-worlds where music and the arts blossomed, providing joy, solace, and a means of employment for the city’s poorest inhabitants.
The most famous of these institutions was the convent and girls’ orphanage known as the Pietà, where the virtuoso violinist Antonio Vivaldi taught and produced some of his most beloved instrumental and vocal works. The emotional impact of hearing the orphaned or abandoned girls performing ‘like angels’ inspired many a visitor and writer: philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, for example, could not imagine anything on earth ‘so voluptuous and affecting as this music’.
Led by an expert on Italian culture, Kate Bolton-Porciatti, this Conversation will set the Pietà and Venice’s other musical ‘ospedali’ in their social, religious, and cultural context. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a deeper understanding of Venice's Golden Age.
About Your Expert
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.
Kate’s all inclusive presentation was clear, thorough & very knowledgeable to inspire her audience to learn even more of the history & brilliant creativity of the art, music & architecture of the Baroque period & its strong social effect on the Venetian community. Bless her.
Kate is as entertaining online as her in person tours. As informative as it was entertaining, the presentation was also at an Australia friendly time (always a plus). Highly recommend Kate and Context seminars !
Such an interesting, amazing review of how music, art and children come together. Excellent!
Another fascinating look at Venice and the interaction of music and art in unexpected places
This was an amazing and interesting session. We hope that the rest of the series will be repeated soon since this was the only one we were able to attend. Kate had so much to say and we are so excited to attend more seminars about northern Italy.