Salon/Sanctuary Concerts in Florence, Italy

2016 Sacro/Profano Festival

Il Filo d’Arianna / Ariadne’s Thread

Concert Schedule*

All concerts are free and open to the public unless otherwise specified

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Special Preview Concert presented in collaboration with NYU Villa La Pietra
Ensemble Melpomen
The Limonaia of Villa La Pietra

Sunday, June 5th 5pm

The Limonaia of Villa La Pietra

Via Bolognese, 120   
50139 Firenze

Reservations are required for this concert. Please email to make reservations.


The 6th century-BC lyric


Ensemble Melpomen

Arianna Savall, soprano and Bárbitos/Lýra

Giovanni Cantarini, tenor and Kithára/Lýra

Martin Lorenz, Týmpana, Kýmbala and Krótala

Conrad Steinmann, Aulós, Kýmbala; music and direction

Villa La Pietra’s The Season and Sacro/Profano open with a program that honors the inspiration of the Renaissance through a performance of ancient Greek Lyric poetry. 

The Florentine Camerata looked to Athenian dramatists in their creation of opera, while Renaissance thinkers resurrected the Greek philosophers in their pursuit of a "new" humanism. 

This theatrical concert of reconstructed treasures gives voice to such varied characters as Sappho, Anacreaon, Theognis, Solon, and Mimnermos, scanning the range of expression at the dawn of Western Civilization.

Cantalupi, Frenkel, Gould, Pozzi

Thursday, June 9th

7:30pm – Dinner

9:00pm – Performance


The Portico of the Great Synagogue of Florence

Via Luigi Carlo Farini 6

From Ghetto to Cappella

Interfaith Exchanges in the Music of Baroque Italy

Ensemble L’Aura Soave Cremona

Jessica Gould, soprano & Noa Frenkel, contralto

Diego Cantalupi, lute & Davide Pozzi, harpsichord and organ


Hebrew chants, works of Strozzi, Marcello, Salamone Rossi and others attest to a lively exchange of musical ideas at a time of great oppression. Our original program commemorating the 500th anniversary of the construction of the Venetian Ghetto opens the season of Jewish music events at the Great Synagogue of Florence.

Corina Marti

Friday, June 10th 6:15pm

La Venerabile Arciconfraternita della Misericordia di Firenze

Piazza Duomo, 20, Firenze


I Dilettosi Fiori


Corina Marti, Double Recorder and Clavisymbalum


Late fourteenth-century instrumental music that forms the core of this concert comes from the two most important surviving sources of this repertoire: the London and the Faenza codices. Corina Marti sets out “in search of the delightful flowers” (Jacopo da Bologna) hidden in those two distinct universes of Late Medieval music, the monophonic and the polyphonic. The remarkable variety of the period is heard in the sound of recorders (including the double recorder so frequently seen in the fourteenth-century Italian iconography) and of a clavisymbalum – a reconstruction of the earliest form of a harpsichord.

Santa Maria Novella

Saturday, June 11th 7pm

The Basilica of Santa Maria Novella

Piazza di Santa Maria Novella 18, 50123 Firenze


Rime Dolci e Leggiadre

The Musical Legacy of the ‘Dolce Stil Nuovo’ Poets


Ensemble La Morra


VivaBiancaLuna Biffi, voice and fiddle & Giovanni Cantarini, voice

Corina Marti, recorders and clavisimbalum & Michał Gondko, lute


Excerpts from Dante’s The Divine Comedy, music by Francesco Landini, Paolo da Firenze, songs of Hell and Purgatory are sung side by side with sweet sonnets of Dante’s trecento. Hear this exquisite Florentine repertoire in the church where Boccaccio's Decameron begins.

The cortile of Palazzo Bardi

Sunday, June 12th 5pm

The Cortile of Palazzo Bardi

Via dè Benci, 5, Firenze


Reservations are required for this concert. The reservation limit has been reached and no more seats are available.



Arias from the Birth of Opera


Noa Frenkel, contralto

Diego Cantalupi, lute & Davide Pozzi, harpsichord


The musicians and humanists of the Florentine Camerata, also known as the Camerata de’ Bardi, looked back to ancient Greek Drama in their creation of a new art form. In the cortile of Brunelleschi’s Palazzo Bardi, which once housed a theater where new works were aired, a program unfolds of artifacts from the dawn of opera. Included with works of Peri, Frescobaldi, Caccini and others, is Monteverdi’s great Lamento d’Arianna, a thread from a lost operatic tapestry that remains undiscovered to this day.

Caravaggio, The Flight into Egypt
Monday, June 13th 9pm 
The Cappella di San Luca (Cappella dei Pittori) of the Church of Santissima Annunziata 
Piazza SS Annunziata, 50122 Firenze

I Viaggi di Caravaggio 
Sacri Chiaroscuri

Jessica Gould, soprano & Diego Cantalupi, lute 

Chiaroscuro, or the theatrical contrast of light and dark, is a technique pioneered by the great Baroque painter Caravaggio. Yet chiaroscuro describes not just baroque painting but music as well, as seicento composers elucidated texts and drove narratives through sudden shifts in sonic color. 

A fresco of Giorgio Vasari sets the stage for this concert of sacred seicento repertoire by Ferrari, Merula, Sances, Rigatti, and Kapsberger, presented in the famous “Artists’ Chapel,” known as the Cappella di San Luca, of the Accademia delle Belli Arti del Disegno. Founded in 1563 by Cosimo dei Medici, the Accademia once boasted among its membership Michelangelo, Del Sarto, Pontormo, Gentileschi, as well as Caravaggio himself.
One of the organs of Santa Felicità

Tuesday, June 14th

Guided Tour 8pm

Concert 9pm

The Church of Santa Felicità

Piazza Santa Felicita, 3, 50125 Firenze


Le Voci di Santa Felicità


Behind the scenes tour and concert with Giovanni Guidetti, art historian and Lucia Baldacci, organ


The two organs of the Church of Santa Felicità, The Seffirini and the Contini, have faced each other across the aisle since they were constructed in the 1580s and played by Frescobaldi and Galileo’s Daughter, respectively. Looking down upon the sanctuary is the Palco dei Medici, the secret loft that allowed the Medici to worship, hidden and protected from hoi polloi below. Secret corridors hidden in the walls hold a library and more. 

The organist of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Felicità performs a program divided between each instrument, as part of a behind-the-scenes tour of one of the oldest churches in Florence.

Detail from Caravaggio, The Lute Player

Wednesday, June 15th 9pm


La Sala dell’Accademia delle Arti del Disegno

Via Orsanmichele, 4, 50123 Firenze


L’Eredità Caravaggiesca / The Inheritance of Caravaggio

From Stylus Phantasticus to Stile Galante


Diego Cantalupi, lute


The scientific discoveries of the seicento that rocked the foundations of religious authority also led to a new musical aesthetic of jolts, shifts, and extreme virtuosity, known as “fantastic style.” A solo lute recital of works by Castaldi, and Kapsberger by one of Italy’s leading lutenists offers a window onto the twilight of the Baroque.

Detail from Bacchus and Ariadne by Nicola Carta

Thursday, June 16th 7pm


L’Accademia Bartolomeo Cristofori

Via di Camaldoli 9/R?50124 Firenze


Il Filo d’Arianna / Ariadne’s Thread


Jessica Gould, soprano & Kostja Kostic, clarinet

Diego Cantalupi, guitar & Kenneth Hamrick, fortepiano


The Neo-Classical aesthetic revolution followed the one in the streets. As Liberté, Egalité, et Fraternité tore down the bloated barriers of the ancien regime, artists and composers returned to the Greeks once again, inspired by the simplicity, balance, and logic inherent in Classical form. 

With raucous Romanticism lurking around the corner, could any love affair with order be anything more than a fling? The swing from Apollo to Dionysus contours our final program, as a pair of farewells by Mozart (Parto, Parto) and Haydn (Arianna a Naxos) bookmark the proto-Wagnerian stirrings of Louis Spohr and a modern-day premiere of songs by Domenico Maria Puccini, grandfather of Giacomo.

* Venues and programs subject to change