Thursday, October 6, 2016

Renaissance Newsletter #21


SE Portland Renaissance Fair

Compensation: Hourly based on experience

The "World's Smallest Renaissance Fair" on SE Hawthorne in early November!

Do you have a talent that you'd be interested in showcasing? Specifically, we're looking for people that love to celebrate cultural traditions whether that means you are a folk musician, a street performer/performance artist, a cook/food vendor, or visual artist.

We have lots of openings for vendors or performers, as we'd like to keep the fair going all week long!

Have a resume or a video? Send it! Otherwise, just let us know what you might be able to contribute. Please let me know what you'd expect to be paid by the hour. Spread the word--Renaissance is coming to the Hawthorne District!


Past Faires

Village Renaissance Faire (PA)

The 17th annual Village Renaissance Faire drew thousands of people from the Philadelphia area and beyond with its re-creation of a 12th-through-16th century village.

Fort Bragg Renaissance Fair (NC)

Ax throwing, pony rides and sword fights were some of the activities the families took part in.

Texarkana Renaissance Faire

..A knighting ceremony for kids, a parade, belly dancers, a fairy tea party, court dance, blacksmith demonstrations, pony rides and a Disaster Piece Theater Puppets show.

Brian Harper, the Texarkana Renaissance Faire's new director and CEO, says they essentially doubled the number of merchants for this year's event, the fifth annual rendition…

For the first time, too, the Texarkana Renaissance Faire included beer sales in the tavern area, a change that resulted from patron feedback…

Aly Wint, Texarkana Renaissance Faire's treasurer and secretary, says the kid's activities expanded this year to include the puppet show. There was also the pirate school with pirate training, a pirate pledge and bad jokes galore…

Complete article and picture:


The Leonardo Museum in Vinci is preparing to launch a new section called ‘Leonardo and Anatomy.’

The permanent exhibit, set to open on October 22, will showcase Leonardo's scientific studies on anatomy, a welcome addition to the already extensive collection. Visitors can expect to see new and inventive educational activities, thematic tours and children's activities aimed at highlighting the Renaissance genius' wide-ranging interest in the human body.

Leonardo's hometown has long been a destination for Renaissance art devotees. The Leonardo Museum, one of Vinci's primary attractions, houses full-scale reproductions of the master's paintings, digital reconstructions of projects and machines, and numerous anecdotes and facts about his life and hometown. …

For more information on museum programming and the new section, see the official website:

Rafael: Image Poetry (Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow)
Sept. 13 to Dec. 16. 2016
For the first time in Russia, an exhibition dedicated solely to the works of Raphael will open in Moscow. Eight paintings and three drawings arrive from the collections of Italian museums in Florence, Bologna and Brescia. The exhibition will include:
Self-portrait (1506), Rafael. Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
Madonna of the Grand Duke (1505), Rafael. Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
Angel (1500), Rafael. Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
Paired portraits of Agnolo Doni and his wife Maddalena.  
More information and Images:

Roma Aeterna. Masterpieces of the Vatican Pinacotheca. Bellini, Raphael, Caravaggio
 (Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow)
24 november 2016— 19 february 2017

The Tretyakov Gallery will present the masterpieces from the permanent collection of Vatican and its museum, which attracts art lovers from around the world. 

The treasures of the Vatican Museums rarely leave the permanent collections; therefore, the exhibition will be an important event not only for Russia and Europe, but also for the whole world.

The exhibition will feature the paintings of XII-XVIII centuries, including the works by Raphael, Caravaggio, Giovanni Bellini, Guercino, Pietro Perugino, Guido Reni, Nicolas Poussin.
The Entombment of Christ (1602–1603), Caravaggio. / Tretyakov Gallery


musica fantasia

Katelyn Clark and Julie Ryning make up musica fantasia. The pair perform early secular music — anything from the 13th to 15th centuries — using instruments common to the era….

Ryning is a soprano, while Clark plays the clavicymbalum and the organetto. Both instruments have been specially built to match the ancient originals.
For those not well versed in medieval musicology, a clavicymbalum is an early, miniature ancestor of the piano. Unlike a modern piano, where music is created using small hammers inside the instrument, striking a key on the clavicymbalum plucks strings to create music.

The ancient variety also lacks any dampers. That means the strings continue to vibrate and create sound longer after they’re plucked.

The organetto is a smaller version of the modern organ found in churches around the world. The musician playing the organetto works a bellow with one hand and plays the keys with the other.

“The actual musicians playing and creating the music were really poets who also worked with sound,” Ryning said. “This is the type of music that you could hear amongst musicians or at court with a noble audience…”

For Ryning and Clark, who met while pursuing music degrees from Montreal’s McGill University, putting together a show begins with finding copies of the ancient music that have survived through the centuries.

Most often what’s left is a simple melody that goes along with a very long poem or other type of text, they said.

From there the pair relies on their education, experience and skill to imagine what a full performance would have sounded like….

 “Of course Julie has to do a lot of work with the actual pronunciation, and the way that the text is delivered of course affects how the poetry is understood.”

Depending on which piece of music they’re working on, Ryning may find herself singing in ancient versions of languages including German, Italian and French.

Peter Lingen Lute Teacher,  Performer

…In the 16th century lute songs accompanied Renaissance era dances. According to Peter Lingen, these dances were crucial in entertainment for the contemporary of the composers.

“Like today, [musicians] were expected to provide music for people to enjoy and dance,” Lingen said. “The volte was pretty cool. It was in three beats and the male would at some point pick up the woman, spin her around, and then drop her back down at the first beat.”

Dances like these are still practiced in small dancing communities and used in historical motion pictures. Besides the dance songs, Lingen also performed religiously oriented songs, called fantasias created by composers such as Milano, who worked for Pope Leo X.

“[Milano] was interested in music that was made for spiritual contemplation as part of worship,” Lingen said. “[It] sounds more like choral music. He was able to use three or four voices, like when you hear a choir sing the entry of the sopranos, the altos and so forth…”

Lingen’s lute is made of thin wood, sheep gut string and hoof glue…

Lingen currently instructs one student in playing the lute. Cameron Cornish (‘17) has played the lute for three years. Lingen offered Cornish lessons because he discovered he had background in playing the guitar.

“I thought to myself ‘when am I ever going to get the chance to learn this instrument?’” Cornish said. “If you ever get the chance to learn an unusual instrument like the lute, I say do it.”

As Cornish finishes up his senior year, Lingen is seeking others who are interested in taking lessons. According to Lingen, the American Lute Society has a reasonable lute rental program.

“If I suddenly got five students that wanted to learn the lute, we could get instruments of high quality in their hands. We could revive the movement.”

Early Music Now – 30 years presenting world-class performances of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music in Milwaukee landmark buildings

The season opens at 7:30 on Saturday, October 8th, at the Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts (UWM) with the five members of Fretwork performing 16th- and 17th-century settings of “In Nomine” by Byrd, Gibbons, Lawes, Parsons, Purcell, Taverner, and Tye, This performance is part of the London-based ensemble’s own 30th anniversary tour.

A concert on November 19th, and will present the world-renowned ensemble from Paris, Sequentia. For new program, Sequentia's director Benjamin Bagby collaborates with noted scholar Sam Barrett (Cambridge University) to reconstruct classical texts that were sung in European monastic centers and cathedral schools between the 9th and 12th centuries, with sources dating back to the 6th century. There will be songs about Fortuna, Dido and Cleopatra, Hercules and the old gods, as they would have been enjoyed by monastic intellectuals around the turn of the first millennium. This 7:30 concert will be at Wisconsin Lutheran College’s Schwan Hall.
The Rose Ensemble will return for a pair of Christmas concerts at the glorious Saint Joseph Chapel (27th and Greenfield) on December 10th at 5:00 and December 11th at 3:00. This holiday concert, “A Rose in Winter,” takes its theme from an ancient Christmas legend that describes a midnight blooming of all manner of plants, trees, and flowers. This miracle of new life amid the cold of winter is explored through splendid choral music honoring the Madonna and Child, including medieval English ballads, Spanish cantigas, German carols, and works of William Byrd and Jean Mouton.


…Piffaro was founded in the 1980s to explore the intersection of double-reed instruments and the music of the Medieval and Renaissance periods. Each member of Piffaro is a multi-instrumentalist. Most play the recorder, but the ensemble also includes brass specialists and a harp player. Piffaro’s performances are supported by decades of scholarly work but stand out for their playful and casual quality. The program that Piffaro presented in Pittsburgh focuses on the music that preceded and influenced Johann Sebastian Bach. …

The Greatest Hits of 1525

In a fresh tribute to the original Golden Oldies, Jouyssance Early Music Ensemble will present a program of early 16th century favorites in “The Greatest Hits of 1525.” This vocal program, presented under the direction of Dr. Nicole Baker, will celebrate the early and middle Renaissance with beloved examples of such great genres as madrigals, chansons and Lieder.

Come hear works by Thomas Tallis, Josquin des Prez, Christobal de Morales, Heinrich Isaac, Claudin de Sermisy, Jacob Arcadelt and other composers who dominated European musical life in 1525. The works range from popular, earthy secular songs of the era to devoted expressions of faith.

“The Greatest Hits of 1525” will be performed on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016…


Building a 13th-Century Castle in the 21st Century

Guedelon Castle is a project started in 1997 by Michel Guyot and Maryline Martin in the Burgundy region of France. The castle is styled on typical French medieval chateau-fort, modeled on designs from the 13th century, and is being built using techniques and materials available to masons and builders 800 years ago. The Guedelon project has now become a tourist destination, and employs dozens of workers. The castle is due to be completed in 2023.

New Books/Literature


Fabriano: City of Medieval and Renaissance Papermaking by Sylvia Albro explores how the Arab art of papermaking by hand came to the Italian peninsula in the thirteenth century and why Fabriano was well-positioned to develop as the heart of this artisan craft, first in Italy and subsequently for a larger Mediterranean territory. Details of the technical advancements introduced by Fabriano are described, including machinery and equipment, the of use of watermarks, and improvements in the physical processes of papermaking.

As a result of these innovations, Fabriano and other centers in Italy developed along similar lines and soon Italian hand-made paper was unrivaled in Europe from the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Their lustrous white sheets were favored by merchants and Michelangelo, princes and popes, and a growing, international clientele. Many books, prints, and manuscripts made with Italian paper from this time have survived in remarkably pristine condition and retained qualities still imitated by modern papermakers. This study analyzes the conditions that have kept Fabrianos papermaking industry successful since the Medieval period, while other areas ceased production. Although the books emphasis is on the enduring legacy of Fabriano, other cities involved in the industry are discussed as well, including Genoa, Venice, Parma, Siena, Sicily, Amalfi, and Foligno.

More than 200 images have been chosen to illustrate this remarkable history. In addition to images of Fabriano and the surrounding area, the principal illustrations include rare books, prints, drawings, maps, and manuscripts dating from the thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries. Many illustrations pair images of original artifacts and their identifying watermarks; the latter revealed through beta-radiography and digital photography. More than half of the illustrations are from Library of Congress collections, including images taken for this project from items in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division that used Fabriano paper.

Sylvia Albro is a senior conservator of rare materials on paper at the Library of Congress.

English Renaissance texts

For six centuries, Geoffrey Chaucer’s work has stirred continued re-examination, modern adaptations and fresh insight into English society in the 14th century. Now, scholars studying Chaucer, his contemporaries and the evolution of language in the Middle Ages will have access to a collection of rare, early printed books acquired by Arizona State University Libraries that promise new understanding of the classic works.

The codices, which date to the early 16th century, include varied editions of the collected works of Chaucer — notably, a circa 1550 publication edited by William Thynne — a decorative first illustrated edition of Ranulf Higden’s "Polycronicon" and literature by Francis Bacon, Robert Fabyan, Richard Grafton, Ben Jonson, John Milton, Ovid, Sir Walter Raleigh, Edmund Spenser, Jonathan Swift and William Shakespeare…

Complete article and beautiful pictures:

October Faires

Connecticut Renaissance Faire

Renaissance faire purists might bristle at the incursion of pirates, steampunk or “Doctor Who” characters, but Brian Harvard of the Connecticut Renaissance Faire has built a pretty wide tent in 18 years.

Over five October weekends (including Columbus Day) at the North Haven Fairgrounds, the event will feature food, drink and different themes: a pet and marketplace this week, then a Pirate Invasion Weekend, Time Travelers Weekend (“Star Wars” stormtroopers next to Robin Hood), Fantasy & Romance Weekend (yes, there will be weddings) and All Hallows Weekend...

Some new and returning acts: The Lost Boys — a mix of Renaissance and rock ’n’ roll — will play during the Oct. 8-10 weekend; Shelli Buttons will do her daring aerial silk routines; master archer and longbow maker Bill Darr will demonstrate his marksmanship with the medieval longbow; acrobat Li Liu will do her thing and mentalist Scott Xavier, who has been on “America’s Got Talent,” will show his abilities on the first and fifth weekends.
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The centerpiece of the 2016 production will be “A Midsummer Night’s Musical,” a twist on the classic Shakespeare play featuring singing, dancing and comedy…

“America’s Celtic Band” The Rogues will close out the 2016 run of the Connecticut Renaissance Faire during the final weekend…

October Faires

Carolina Renaissance Festival

The 23rd annual Carolina Renaissance Festival kicks off Saturday, Oct. 1, and runs for eight consecutive weekends in October and November. The festival brings a big dose of cheer, trumpet fanfare, clashing armor and giant roasted turkey legs each year…

Village purveyors offer bread bowl stews, premium meats on sticks, sweet treats and confections, and a favorite of all renaissance wanderers: a bag of cinnamon-roasted almonds.  Festival pubs offer variety of Pepsi products, craft beer, wine, champagne, ale, honey mead, lemonade and medieval margaritas to compliment the day-long feast of hearty foods fit for royalty.
Twelve stages offer costumed performers offering continuous music, dance, comedy, and circus entertainments.  Unbalanced acrobats, the Ancient Art of Falconry, and jousting tournaments with horse mounted armored knights are all examples of the continuous entertainment offered.

Craft vendors will be available offering home d├ęcor, jewelry, clothing of renaissance and medieval fashion, blown and torched glass, handmade art and pottery.  There are also activities for children of including people powered amusement rides and countryside faire games such as the castle climbing wall, archery and tomato tossing at a fool.

Each year the Carolina Renaissance Festival adds new entertainments and upgraded facilities for visitor enjoyment.  New additions for 2016 include Hypnotist Rick Stratton, where hypnosis is real and members of the audience become the show. 

Also new is the Giving Tree Interactive Drum Circles where children and adults are encouraged to pick up an instrument and join in….

St Louis Renaissance Festival

 “…Our premise is that you are in Belinghem France, just prior to the Field of the Clothe of Gold,” said Jeff Pounds, the fair’s entertainment director. “It is the last meeting of any source between two heads of state –King Francois I of France and King Henry VIII – to discuss treaties, marriage proposals and to have a festival with a tournament, jousting and things like that.”

It is Pounds’ hope that the environment – the cast members, the building, the music – allows people to tromp through the wooded hamlet and get a taste of life at that time through a sense of living history.

Traveling through the village, visitors may be met by Ann Boleyn, King Henry VIII’s second wife, or the executioner that would eventually take her head. Both will bid a "good day" in a perfect English accent….

For many of the cast members who have been playing the character for so long, they easily fall into character.

“After playing the character for so long, it becomes second nature,” said Theodore Jandor, who has been playing King Francois since 2002. “It is very easy to switch into the accent. Actually, it sometimes hard to turn off.”

Kathleen Whalen, who plays Catherine of Austria, has been with the cast for nine seasons and said she also enjoys the historical aspect of her role as well as chance to entertain her audience.

“I have always had an interest in both acting and history,” Whalen said. “This allows me to bring both together. But it is more than that. After doing this for so long, the cast members, most of whom have been here for a while, have become family over the years.”

For several of the cast, their connection with the festival began simply as patrons who just enjoyed coming to the festival.

“We have been coming since year one,” said Tracy Stewart, who plays an English Villager, alongside her daughter, Isabelle Stewart. “We enjoyed it so much, we decided to become cast members.”

With the cast developing an air of realism, the festival offers many of the same types of activities typical for all those centuries ago.

While on an outing to the festival, one may enjoy live armed jousting by knights on horseback fighting for king and country, or the Steele Sisters sword fighting each other as they share stories of sibling rivalry…

Ohio Renaissance Festival

…Rebels, Rogues and Revelers Weekend (Oct. 1-2) comes up after Barbarian Weekend and doesn’t appear to have a whole lot of extra special entertainment. However, if the name suggests anything, this weekend in the middle of the Renaissance Festival’s run may be the best time to get sloshed on ale with some 16th century peasants and knights. Rebel and Revel at the Renaissance Fair this weekend.

Highland Weekend (Oct. 8-9) is marked by the wonderful prospect of kilt-wearing. If you’re a guy who loves to bask in the outdoors with the wind between your legs, or a lady who rocks it out on a bagpipe, this is the weekend for you. The Tartan Terrors will be there, providing Celtic music, dance and comedy.

Find a date that is just as into ruffles, armor, corsets and feather-adorned hats as you are? Then, Romance Weekend (Oct. 15-16) is the weekend for you. They even do vow renewal ceremonies twice a day.

And finally, Trick or Treat Weekend (Oct. 22-23) will close out this year’s Renaissance Festival. Dress up and bring the little ones for trick or treating and pumpkin decorating in the village.

GO: Ohio Renaissance Festival, 10542 East State Route 73, Waynesville, OH. Weekends through Oct. 23, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. $21.95. For more info:

Texas Renaissance Festival

…This year visitors will also see some of those improvements with the complete renovation of one stage and the addition of another.

Titania’s Bower

For Faire goers, the addition of new stages means the addition of new acts. This year the Texas Renaissance Festival management added Titania’s Bower to the Magic Garden…

The designers and craftsmen of TRF have learned how to replicate the renaissance style over the past 40 years…

Titania’s Bower will be the home stage for The School of Dance and the new act, The Living Fountain. The Bower is in a secluded glen of the Magic Garden and boasts a green grass floor, which is in keeping with management’s continued policy of green spaces….

Dove Meadow

Dove Meadow stage in the “Spanish” sector of the village underwent a Moroccan-influenced renovation during the offseason. Traditionally the home stage of the bands Tartanic and Saxon Moon, Dove Meadow had been a simple wooden platform with no cover for many years….

Veteran visitors will still be able to find Tartanic “rocking out” with bagpipes and percussion and Saxon Moon’s blend of “Scandinavian folklore” and “hints of Mediterranean World Music” four times a day on the Dove Meadow Stage….

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