Starry Messenger

March 31 – April 02, 2017
Folger Theatre

The late 16th century saw a revolution in musical practice in Italy—“old style” Renaissance compositions gave way to the innately dramatic music of the early Baroque. Folger Consort celebrates this age of revelations with music of the spheres—dramatic songs by Monteverdi, lute music by Galileo’s father Vincenzo Galilei, and brilliant early violin sonatas and keyboard pieces. With guest string players Risa Browder and John Moran, harpsichordist Webb Wiggins, and renowned soprano Julianne Baird.

“If spring sunlight could be translated into sound, it would probably be a lot like Julianne Baird.” – Opera News

An early printing of Galileo’s Sidereus Nuncius is part of the exhibition from Corpus Christi College 500 Years of Treasures from Oxford, on view from February 4 through April 30.

With promotional support from the Italian Cultural Institute in Washington, DC.


Special Performances

Early Music Seminar: Starry Messenger
Wednesday March 29, 6pm
Robert Eisenstein, co-artistic director of Folger Consort, shares insights about the weekend’s program celebrating the rich heritage of Florentine and other Italian music of the 16th century, including Vincenzo Galilei, Claudio Montverdi, and others. Wine reception included.
Tickets are $20.

Concert Performance: Galileo’s Torch
Thursday March 30, 7pm
Join Folger Consort for a special concert performance of Galileo’s Torch by James Reston, Jr. featuring the music of Starry Messenger and directed by Alan Paul. Reston’s work replays the 17th-century trial of Galileo Galilei —when the astronomer-mathematician violated Catholic dogma by asserting that the Earth orbits the sun. The play was adapted from Reston, Jr.’s 1994 biography, Galileo: A Life.
Tickets are $20.

Pre-performance Discussion: Starry Messenger
Friday March 31, 7pm
Robert Aubry Davis, seen on WETA’s Around Town and Millennium of Music and heard on XM Radio’s opera and classical vocal music channel, leads a lively pre-concert discussion with the performers.
Free with purchase of a ticket to the evening's performance.

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