Monday 13 January 2020, 7:00-8:30pm:
‘Italian Voices’: lecture-recital at St John's College, Cambridge (Old Divinity School, Main Lecture Theatre).
What is it that makes the Italian voice sound ‘Italian’? And what happens when this voice collides with futuristic technologies that mark the beginning of a new age?
In this evening of words and music, five researchers and three musicians will guide us through a curious collection of Italian vocal experiments from the early 1900s. Voice was, by common consent, the main marker of ‘Italianness’ in music: turn-of-the-century Italians grappled with the contradictions of their time by inventing (and reinventing) a series of new voices.
From fake Neapolitan songs to stuttering opera arias, singing silent films to Futurist sound-poems, come and discover what these new Italian voices sounded like and how they changed as the first recording media—the gramophone, cinema and radio—emerged on the public stage. Among many rare and exciting musical discoveries, the concert will include the UK premiere of the first opera expressly written for Italian radio.
Rossini, ‘La danza’
Leoncavallo, ‘Stridono lassù’ (from Pagliacci)
Mascagni, ‘Quella è una strada’ (from Le maschere)
Graziani-Walter, Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei, extracts
Masnata, ‘Beethoven’, sound-poem
Guarino, Il cuore di Wanda: radio opera sinfonica
Lucinda Scott (soprano)
James Schouten (baritone)
Thomas Ang (piano)
Alessandra Jones, Marco Ladd, Ditlev Rindom, Danielle Simon, Francesca Vella (speakers)
Friday-Saturday 10-11 January 2020:
‘Sounding (Out) 19th-Century Italy’: international conference at St John's College, Cambridge.
Friday 1 November 2019, 12:30-2:00pm:
Pre-conference workshop at the Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society, Boston.
Saturday 19 October 2019, 4:00-4:40pm:
‘Sounding (Out) Italy’: free public talk by Francesca Vella at the Cambridge Festival of Ideas