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Celestial Sirens: 17th-Century Italian Women's Music from the Convent and Secular World
“Nearly all the nunneries practice music, both playing numerous sorts of musical instruments, and singing. And in some convents there are such rare voices that they seem angelic, and like sirens entice the nobility of Milan to go hear them.” (Morigia, 1595) Part sacred, part secular: the revolutionary new world of the female performer. Music for women’s trio with lirone, viol, Baroque harp, and theorbo.
Be sure to come to the FREE talk with best-selling author and scholar Dr. Craig Monson the Wednesday prior to this concert (November 11) at 7:30 PM at Church of the Advent in Walnut Hills. Dr. Monson will talk about the novel phenomenon of female singers in 17th-century Italy in the sacred and secular worlds. He will describe the lives women led in the convents, which, at the time, was an acceptable alternative for women without husbands or children. The cloistered life, although physically restrictive, offered creative freedoms unavailable to married women, including extensive educations and the opportunities to write or compose. Even these opportunities were viewed with suspicion, though: the female voice was considered dangerous because of the perceived connections between making music and making love. This lecture will reveal a little-known history of women’s roles in society.