Monteverdi at 450: Experiments in Text, Sound, Image, Movement

on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

Screenings and talks:

Thursday, Nov. 2 (543 Williams Hall), 5:30-7:00

Tuesday, Nov. 21 (401 Fisher-Bennett or 543 Williams Hall), 5:30-7:30

Exhibition (CANCELLED, see below):

From February 19 to May 18, 2018 (Lee Lounge, Van Pelt Library)


The Center for Italian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania partners with Penn and non-Penn institutions to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the birth of Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643). The three events, co-sponsored with the Italian Academy of Advanced Studies at Columbia University, focus on the impact of the Baroque composer’s music and ideas in the 20th and 21st century, revolving around the themes of recreation and remaking throughout a variety of media.

The first event, in collaboration with the Music Department, the Italian Studies Section of the Department of Romance Languages, and the Cinema Studies Program, takes place on Thursday, November 2, 5:30 – 7:00, in 543 Williams Hall (Cherpack Seminar Room). Prof. Mark Franko, the preeminent dance scholar in the United States, presents a superb ten-minute choreographic composition for television created by celebrated Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman soon after The Magic Flute, together with Donya Feuer, based on Monteverdi’s famous Ballo delle ingrate (Dance of the ungrateful women) concluding Book VIII of madrigals (1638).

The second event, in collaboration with the Music Department and the Cinema Studies Program, features a discussion revolving on the version of Monteverdi’s Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda first presented in Bruxelles in 2001 by today’s renown experimental theater and opera director Romeo Castellucci. Dr. Piersandra Di Matteo, a longtime collaborator of Castellucci and currently one of the leading performance scholars and art curators in Italy, presents excerpts from this production, contextualizing it within today’s post-dramatic performance practices. The talk takes place on Tuesday, November 21, 5:30-7:30. 


CANCELLED The exhibit can however be seen in New York City, Italian Academy at Columbia University, Dec 7 – Feb 1 (Weekdays, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm) see

[The third event, in collaboration with the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel (Switzerland), the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies at Columbia University, and Penn’s own Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts, features a small exhibition devoted to Luciano Berio’s engagement with Monteverdi’s music. It takes place from February 19th to May 18th, 2018, in the Lee Lounge of Van Pelt-Dietrich Library. Previously unexplored archival documents related to Berio’s 2003 unfinished “re-visitation” (rivisitazione) of Monteverdi’s 1643 opera L’incoronazione di Poppea, recently acquired by the Sacher Foundation, will be shown.]

For more information please contact Prof. Mauro Calcagno at