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Thus begins our musical valentine of 16th-century madrigals setting poetry by Francesco Petrarca. In church on April 6, 1327, the 23-year-old Petrarch beheld a beautiful young woman, Laura, and was instantly pierced through by love at once carnal and spiritual. His love for Laura would obsess, torment, and inspire him until her death from the plague in 1348 and beyond, for the rest of Petrarch’s life, shaping his work and the meaning of his existence. Inspired by love, Petrarch’s Canzoniere in turn inspired some of the most expressive, beautifully crafted, and emotionally powerful music of the sixteenth century. Blue Heron’s “Petrarchino cantato” or pocket Canzoniere presents madrigals by Verdelot, Arcadelt, Willaert, de Rore, Wert, Marenzio and others sung by six musicians, with dramatic recitation of poems and other writings in Italian and in English translation performed by two actors, one Italian and one American. Not your average valentine—but a perfect afternoon or evening out, filled with drama and emotion. Free pre-concert talk by Prof. Christopher Martin (Boston University) begins 45 minutes before each concert. Please note our COVID safety protocols for in-person attendance. Tickets for live concerts are $50 for adults, $35 for Seniors, $10 for students or low-income, and include online access. Tickets for online-only concerts are $39 for adults, $30 for seniors, $10 for students or low-income.
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