Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Renaissance Faire Newsletter #23


Medieval and Renaissance Study in Italy

The University of Arkansas Rome Campus and the Medieval and Renaissance Program are offering two opportunities to study in Rome in 2017.

During Summer Session 2, students can take two 3000-level courses for a variety of humanities credit. During fall semester, students can enroll for 15 (or more) hours of credit.

For more information contact directly professor William A. Quinn, director of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 575-5988, wquinn@uark.edu.

Rt66 Renaissance Faire GoFundMe Appeal

Rt66 Renaissance Faire, is the newest Renaissance style fair to Oklahoma…

We at Black Sheep Entertainment ( the producers of Rt66 Renaissance Faire), want to create a realm where people can step back in time to a renaissance style country market that has been set up as Fall Festival  where people can enjoy the day with  Nobles, Commoners, and Pirates of the past. Both to learn a little about history to some extent, sing songs of merriment with our bards and musicians, or cause shenanigans with our booty finding friends…

 What the Money will be used for:
The money we are trying to raise, is to help set up the bases for this event, which will help pay for part of the grounds, materials, and start to pay for some of the entertainment for the event…

 Rt66 Renaissance Faire, is slated to open its gates, November 11 & 12, 2017 at the Creek County Fair Grounds, Kellyville Oklahoma, thus giving us plenty of time to create wonderful event and atmosphere…

Complete GoFundMe appeal:

Past Faires/Events

The Ohio Renaissance Fair

2016 Rosenvolk German Medieval Festival

Following the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the medieval period that followed lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. Scholars prefer to call the era the “medieval period” because saying “Middle Ages incorrectly implies that the period was an insignificant blip sandwiched between two important epochs” (history.com). Within those ten centuries ranged every catastrophe from economic devastation to the Dark Ages of barbarism, the Black Death (bubonic plague) that killed 30 percent of all Europeans, to the rise of Islam, as well as the Crusades to Attila the Hun — and these are only the footnotes!

Representing life and lifestyles in the Middle Ages, the Rosenvolk German Medieval Festival offered educational events for the hundreds of school children who will arrive by the bus loads (class trips) and car loads (parents) to spend the day in an exciting atmosphere of Lords and Ladies, Kings and Queens, Knights and Dukes, learning the crafts, music, methods and more of European life in the Middle Ages.

Each day of the festival began with entertainment by Crossed Cannons and Celica Fae. Crossed Cannons is a musical group of pirates, singing sea shanties and other “sea” related songs.

King Harold Day medieval festival 

Celebrating the Life, Legend & Legacy of England's Last Anglo-Saxon King 

This year is the 950th Anniversary of the Year of King Harold II, of his Coronation, the three great battles of 1066, and Harold’s death on the battlefield.

Harold Godwinsson, King Harold II, was Lord of the Manor of Waltham when he was Earl of Essex and East Anglia, owned much land and property in the area, and whose family home with his handfast wife, Edith Swan-Neck, was at Nazeing. Harold founded the Minster Church that eventually became the Great Abbey, and legend has it that he came to pray at the Miraculous Cross of Waltham before the Battle of Hastings, and that his body was brought back here after his death.

This year the re-enactors werre The Feudals. They set up their medieval camp where you could see cooking, weaving, arrow making in the medieval way, as well as their weapons and armour….

Trouvère, medieval musicians provided early Saxon and Norman music.

Coda Falconry had birds of prey on show all day, and flying from the Arena once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

Chingford Morris Men performed their Mummers’ Play and morris dancing…

Also featured was a Hog Roast, and the local Dominion Brewery offered 11th Century-type ales.,,

King Harold Day is part of the King Harold 950 Festival taking place from September to December 2016…

Shepherdstown Renaissance Fair (WV)

The residents and visitors of Shepherdstown got a chance to see sword fights and more Saturday when King Street was transformed into a Renaissance Fair to show how inhabitants of 16th century Europe dressed, ate, worshiped, protested and entertained themselves 500 years ago, during the Protestant Reformation.

Shepherdstown’s inaugural Renaissance Festival was titled “1517 Festival: A Renaissance Street Fair that is observing 500 Year of the Reformation.”

The exact year of 1517 has some historic and religious significance itself.

“1517 is most commonly attributed to Martin Luther nailing a copy of his ’95 Thesis’ on the door of the All Saints Church in Wittenburg, Germany,” said Jake Priddy, owner and head instructor of Fenris Kunst des Fechtens, a martial arts training group from Extreme Family Fitness in Martinsburg.

Besides teaching Medieval sword fighting, Priddy is also a student of Medieval history earning a Master’s degree in the subject at George Washington University...

SCA People

Psychology Professor David Johnson

     …Johnson is a proud member of the Society of Creative Anachronism, a medieval recreation group that is dedicated to learning the arts and practices of the ancient world.

     SCA isn’t your typical renaissance festival group, as one can tell from visiting Johnson’s office, where parchment scrolls of handcrafted calligraphy hung on the same walls as collegiate degrees.

     The organization’s main focus is on researching, learning and ultimately recreating the skills people would have learned back in the middle ages, which is usually defined by the organization as anything before the 17th century.

The SCA prides itself in being not just a renaissance festival group or a medieval reenactment organization, but instead a group for living history.

     “We do use the term anachronism because we’re a little bit different than what you might call reenactors, like the Civil War folks, Johnson said.     

     “Their overall desire is to have things exactly the way they were, and they also reenact specific battles. We do recreation, so we do the things they might have done in the middle ages, but we’re not really recreating any particular battles.”

     SCA offers opportunities for people to learn a variety of skills that would have been taught in the middle ages, including learning weaponry, woodworking and hat making.

     “Probably the thing I do, for the most part, is missile weapons. So I do archery, and throw axes and knives and spears,” Johnson said.

     Johnson is also interested in medicinal history. “Medicine is another interest of mine. Research is sort of my thing, so what I really like doing is when I find something really interesting in a medieval document, where they say to use this [medicine] for all of these disorders.” Johnson also said he likes to “go into modern research to see if it held any water. And amazingly, a lot of times they were onto things,” Johnson said….

     “I believe that my most medieval experience was the archery shoot from the Viking boat, Johnson said.

     “After reading about Vikings (and of course watching the TV show!) it was an exhilarating experience to row [an] old, heavy, Viking boat with my fellow archers and then shoot at targets on land from the boat. Rowing back to the dock, we all had grins on our faces that I will never forget…


Denver Art Museum  Oct 2, 2016 - Feb. 12, 2017
North Carolina Museum of Art March 4, 2017 – June 18, 2017

Experience the extraordinary artistic creativity of Venice at Glory of Venice: Masterworks of the Renaissance, opening Oct. 2 at the Denver Art Museum (DAM). From the mid-1400s to early 1500s, artists forged a Renaissance style that was distinctly Venetian. Through this artistic evolution, the city became an internationally recognized model of pictorial excellence.

Artworks on view in the exhibition will emphasize how masters during this period—whose sensitivity toward color and light remained unparalleled for centuries—veered from traditional techniques and began using oil paint to experiment with depth, emotion and dimension in their work.

Glory of Venice features about 50 significant works, and provides visitors with a rare opportunity to experience 19 artworks from Venice’s Gallerie dell’Accademia, which houses one of the greatest collections of Venetian Renaissance art in the world. Additional masterworks on view include paintings on loan from the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice and the Fondazione Magnani Rocca in Parma, Italy, as well as signature paintings from the DAM’s collection.

Art works examples can be seen here:

Lucas Cranach

Lucas Cranach (1472–1553) is today acknowledged as one of the great painters of the Northern Renaissance, the creator of a large number of remarkable paintings in a distinctive, highly recognisable style. He was also responsible for the iconic series of images of the Protestant reformer Martin Luther (1483–1546), his friend and contemporary who had also settled in the small north German city of Wittenberg. His images of Luther and friends provide the definitive pictorial chronicle of the reformer’s life, from the time he first burst on to the public stage, and into old age.

All of the many books that celebrate Luther in this run-up to the 500th anniversary in 2017 of the publishing of his 95 Theses will draw on Cranach for their image of the reformer. So too will the exhibitions organised under the aegis of the Luther Exhibitions USA 2016 project: ‘Word and Image: Martin Luther’s Reformation’ at the Morgan Library and Museum, New York (7 October–22 January 2017); ‘Law and Grace: Martin Luther, Lucas Cranach, and the Promise of Salvation’ at Pitts Theology Library, Emory University, Atlanta (11 October–16 January 2017); and ‘Martin Luther: Art and the Reformation’ at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (30 October–15 January 2017)...

Complete, comprehensive and very interesting article with art: http://www.apollo-magazine.com/the-art-that-built-martin-luthers-brand/

Botticelli and the Search for the Divine:  Florentine Painting Between the Medici and the Bonfires of the Vanities

Muscarelle Museum- College of William & Mary February 11, 2017 - April 6 2017
Museum of Fine Arts Boston April 18 2017-  July 9, 2017

Botticelli and the Search for the Divine:  Florentine Painting Between the Medici and the Bonfires of the Vanities is a major international loan exhibition organized by the Muscarelle Museum of Art in Williamsburg, Va., in partnership with Italy’s Associazione Culturale Metamorfosi.

Sandro Botticelli (Florence 1445 –1510), was one of the most original and creative painters of the Italian Renaissance. Today his name and images are known as widely as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who were his friends. Together with his deeply moving religious images, Botticelli is renowned as the unchallenged master of classical mythologies. In his time, he also replicated the central figure of his iconic Birth of Venus in the Uffizi gallery in Florence in paintings with dark backgrounds stripped bare of place and time, just displaying the solitary beautiful nude. 

One of the only two such Venuses known today in the world, from the Galleria Sabauda museum in Turin, will be on view for the first time in America, together with many other works that have never previously traveled to the United States.

The exhibition will travel to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston as its only other venue. The exhibition will open at the Muscarelle Museum on February 11, 2017 and run through April 6. The exhibition will open to the public in Boston on April 18 and will close on July 9.

Renato Miracco, cultural attaché for the Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C. has stated that the upcoming Botticelli and the Search for the Divine “will be the largest and most important exhibition of its type ever organized in the United States.” He added that “the exhibition catalogues by John Spike, a leading Italianist, have been outstanding works of scholarship.” The Botticelli show is the most recent of numerous cultural initiatives by the Muscarelle Museum to which the Italian Embassy has lent its support.

The restless, prolific and original genius of Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) will be explored in depth in this historic exhibition, which features sixteen of his paintings, most with life-size figures, from major museums and churches in six Italian cities, including Florence, Milan and Venice. Every phase of the artist’s long, tumultuous career is represented in the selection, by far the largest and most important Botticelli exhibition ever staged in the United States.  

Also featured are six rare paintings, by Botticelli’s great master Filippo Lippi, the only pupil of Masaccio. The cultural milieu of Renaissance Florence will be represented by several paintings by Filippo’s son, Filippino Lippi, Botticelli’s most important student and a leading master in his own right; a painting and a bronze statuette of Hercules by Antonio Pollaiuolo; the death mask of Lorenzo the Magnificent; and a portrait of Savonarola by Fra Bartolomeo.  

By 1490, as the first Renaissance century drew to a close, Sandro Botticelli was reputed the greatest painter in Florence. Born in 1445, Botticelli’s path to success had been guided by the Medici dynasty headed by Lorenzo de’ Medici, Il Magnifico. Naturally willing to learn, Botticelli returned the favor with sensuous fantasies on the Birth of Venus and the Allegory of Spring inspired by the Medici passion for the beauty of ancient Greece and the exoticism of the Romans. Botticelli’s mythologies endure among the best-known images of the Renaissance and the most famous paintings in the world.  

Sandro Botticelli’s idyllic life was changed forever when Lorenzo the Magnificent died unexpectedly in 1492.  His son and successor, Piero the “Unfortunate”, so thoroughly mismanaged affairs that the government of the city was ceded to Fra Savonarola, the fiery preacher and nemesis of the Medici.

Botticelli is the most prominent of the painters whose nudes and pagan subjects were thrown on the notorious Bonfires of the Vanities that took place on Fat Tuesday (mardis gras) of 1497 and 1498. Some authorities believe that Botticelli himself participated in the burning.  

The Shimmer of Gold: Giovanni di Paolo in Renaissance Siena

Manuscript illuminator and panel painter Giovanni di Paolo (about 1399–1482) counts as one of the most distinctive and imaginative artists working in Renaissance Siena, Italy. The Shimmer of Gold: Giovanni di Paolo in Renaissance Siena, on view October 11, 2016 through January 8, 2017 at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, brings together several examples of his brilliantly colored paintings on both panel and parchment, including the work that scholars consider to be the artist’s masterpiece.

The exhibition centers on Giovanni’s most important commission, the Branchini Altarpiece, a multi-panel polyptych completed in 1427 for the Branchini family chapel in the church of San Domenico in Siena. The exhibition reunites—for the first time since it was dispersed sometime after 1649—the glorious, large central panel, representing the Virgin and Child surrounded by seraphim and flowers, with the altarpiece’s four surviving predella panels, smaller narrative paintings that decorated the lower register of the altarpiece.

The signed and dated central panel, the so-called “Branchini Madonna,” on loan from the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, was the only portion identified as part of the altarpiece until 2009, when scholars in Europe connected it with other works.

The team at the Getty recently had the opportunity to study the panel from the Norton Simon when it came to the Museum for conservation, along with a small predella panel representing the Adoration of the Magi, which had been loaned for study and treatment by the Kröller-Müller Museum in the Netherlands. Technical analysis is still ongoing, but it seems to support what scholars had already suspected: that the Adoration of the Magi panel was indeed part of the Branchini Altarpiece, as were three other predella panels in the collection of the Pinacoteca Nazionale of Siena. All four surviving predella panels (there was a fifth panel, which is yet to be found) will be gathered together in the exhibition.

The exhibition also brings into focus the highly decorative and richly colored painting technique, which included extensive use of gold leaf, that peaked in Italy in the early 15th century, and of which Giovanni di Paolo was a celebrated master.

Over the course of his lengthy career, Giovanni received prestigious commissions from private individuals and families, patrons such as the Pope, guilds, and numerous religious orders, including the Dominicans and Augustinians. His brilliantly colorful paintings on both panel and parchment reveal him to be an artist whose style drew uniquely from Sienese and Florentine models.

In the 1420s, Giovanni di Paolo and fellow Sienese artists responded enthusiastically to the courtly splendor of the newly arrived painter Gentile da Fabriano, one of the most successful artists in Italy at the time, who traveled to Tuscany from northern Italy for numerous commissions, and who immediately worked with and sometimes under the supervision of Siena’s leading creative personalities.

Some scholars have suggested that the young Giovanni di Paolo may have worked on the Branchini Altarpiece with Gentile, who would have influenced Giovanni di Paolo’s technique, as many similarities in their painting methods are apparent. The sophisticated layering of paint and gold as well as the careful execution of elaborate and fine decorative details is evident in the work of both artists, and each were masters at depicting the luxury brocaded textiles and animal furs that were so valued during this period.

In the exhibition, leaves and cuttings from choir books illuminated by Sienese and Florentine artists underscore the shared working methods, itinerant travels, and – in particular – the prevalent use of gold in the religious imagery of the period; as well as explore Giovanni di Paolo’s influence on the painted arts in Renaissance Tuscany. “The illuminated choir book is one of the most significant art forms to demonstrate the combined efforts of multiple artists, a theme demonstrated through a grouping of miniatures lent by the Burke Family Collection and the Ferrell Collection,” says Bryan C. Keene, assistant curator in the department of Manuscripts at the Getty Museum, who also co-curated the exhibition.

The Shimmer of Gold: Giovanni di Paolo in Renaissance Siena will be on view October 11, 2016 – January 8, 2017 at the J. Paul Getty Museum. The exhibition is generously supported by the Museum’s Paintings Council who not only sponsored the conservation work on the predella panel from the Kröller-Müller Museum, but also provided funding for the exhibition.

Complementing the exhibition is a special show at the Italian Cultural Institute in Westwood. Unknown Monk – on view from October 7 through November 11, 2016 – features a series of small panels and a large oil painting on canvas which visually references the Giovanni di Paolo altarpiece by contemporary Italian artists Alex Folla and Elena Trailina.

Also on view at the Getty Center are The Art of Alchemy at the Getty Research Institute (October 11, 2016 –February 12, 2017) and Alchemy of Color in Medieval Manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 11, 2016 –January 8, 2017). Drawn primarily from the collections of the Getty Research Institute and the J. Paul Getty Museum The Art of Alchemy, portrays the critical impact of this arcane subject on artistic practice and expression from Greco-Egyptian antiquity to medieval Central Asia, and from the Islamic world to Europe during the Enlightenment and beyond. The Alchemy of Color in Medieval Manuscripts examines the significance of color, which was understood in the Middle Ages in terms of its material, scientific and medicinal properties.

Artworks: http://arthistorynewsreport.blogspot.com/2016/10/the-shimmer-of-gold-giovanni-di-paolo.html

The Alchemy of Color in Medieval Manuscripts

On View October 11, 2016 –January 1, 2017
at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center

Today color is appreciated primarily for its aesthetic qualities, but during the Middle Ages it was also recognized for its material, scientific, and mechanical properties. The manufacture of colored pigments and inks used for painting and writing was part of the science of alchemy, the chemical transformation of matter. Manuscripts not only transcribed the scientific practice of alchemy—a medieval antecedent to modern chemistry—but were created with alchemically produced materials.

From October 11, 2016, through January 1, 2017, The Alchemy of Color in Medieval Manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center sheds light on medieval manuscript illumination within the context of alchemy as early chemistry and craft practice. With objects from the Museum’s renowned manuscripts collection complemented by generous loans, the exhibition examines colorants and medieval recipes for pigments and imitation gold in a presentation that highlights the Getty’s ongoing research into the materials used by book illuminators.

“Alchemy was the medieval antecedent to modern chemistry,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Manuscripts exemplify this tradition well, not only as a medium by which scientific texts were transmitted, but because the painted illuminations are themselves made with alchemically produced materials. Our ongoing research into materials that were used for manuscript illuminations reveals an alchemical rainbow of colorants made from plants, minerals, and metals.”

The exhibition is divided into three sections exploring the technical aspects of alchemy, the manufacture of color, and the use of gold.

Alchemical Heritage in Manuscripts

Medieval technical manuals and early scientific books are filled with recipes and instructions for manufacturing pigments. Alchemy was an ancient tradition known to medieval readers through texts compiled and copied over centuries in manuscripts. Alchemical knowledge from antiquity entered medieval encyclopedias, craft manuals, household miscellanies, and literary texts. This section of the exhibition describes the types of documents in which alchemical texts reside, including medicinal, astrological, scientific miscellanies, and craft treatises, as well as the earliest mention of the practice of alchemy in medieval literature in The Personification of Nature Making Birds, Animals, and People (about 1405). The authors, Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun, likened the female personification of Nature to the most adept alchemist, transforming base materials and hammering at the anvil to make all the creatures of the world. Evoking the ancient challenge for artists to imitate Nature with their skillful handling of materials, this trope positions alchemists and craftsmen as rivals to Nature herself.

The Alchemical Rainbow

As the medieval forerunner to chemistry, alchemy was concerned with the basic transformation of matter, and this included the fabrication of beautiful coloring materials for painting. This section highlights the colors and pigments utilized by illuminators, such as ultramarine blue, vermilion red, orpiment yellow, and other lesser known pigments. Some pigments were made from colored earths or semiprecious stones ground to a fine powder and mixed with a sticky medium. Other pigments required chemical separations or synthesis by heating or exposing metals to corrosive or reactive agents. Highly toxic products and materials often yielded the most brilliant colors, creating a remarkably varied alchemical rainbow. One of the highlights of this section of the exhibition is an illuminated manuscript of Saint John (late fourteenth –early fifteenth century). The Indigo blue used for this painting was produced by the fermentation of the tropical indigofera plant. This plant was not only used as a dyestuff for textiles but also as a painting material. Its color can range from blue-black to a paler greenish-blue, as used for the background coloring in this illumination.

Illuminating with Precious Metals

“Contrary to the popular misconception that the pursuit of alchemists was simply chrysopoeia, or the making of gold, for many alchemists the goal was nothing less, in fact, than the reproduction of the divine act of creation itself,” says Nancy Turner, J. Paul Getty Museum conservator and curator of the exhibition. The term used to refer to paintings within books – “illumination” – derives from the Latin illuminare meaning pages “lit up with gold.” Having come to epitomize the art of book painting, gold is used not only for its incorruptibility, purity, and high value as a material but also for its spiritual connotations. Among the examples on view in this section of the exhibition is Pentecost (about 1030-40). The illuminator depicted the moment when the Twelve Apostles are imbued with the Holy Spirit of God. The shimmering gold background adds to the radiant, visionary images, and was achieved by painting onto the parchment layered applications of granular gold paint, which was polished with a stone burnisher to achieve a highly lustrous effect.

The Alchemy of Color in Medieval Manuscripts will be on view October 11, 2016 –January 1, 2017 at the J. Paul Getty Museum. The exhibition is curated by Nancy Tuner, conservator of manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum. This exhibition is presented in conjunction with The Art of Alchemy at the Getty Research Institute (October 11, 2016 –February 12, 2017) and The Shimmer of Gold: Giovanni di Paolo in Renaissance Siena at the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 11, 2016 –January 8, 2017).

Van Eyck brothers' “Adoration of the Mystic Lamb"

The first restoration stage of one of the most important pieces of early Renaissance art: the Van Eyck brothers' altarpiece in Ghent, has been finished.

Completed in 1432, the "Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" is a complex painting some four and a half metres (14.75 ft) wide by three and a half metres tall, consisting of 12 panels, eight of them painted on both sides to enable the whole work to be opened and closed up…

The first stage of the restoration took four years to complete and focused on the outside panels, which depict the Annunciation - the angel Gabriel telling Mary she will give birth to Jesus - as well as showing prophets and two portraits of the praying donors of the painting…

The painting has had a tumultuous history, surviving not only the destruction of religious images that swept through the Low Countries in the summer of 1566…


Ancestors of contemporary orchestral instruments

   Consider the sackbut or sacbut, an early form of the trombone used in music from the Renaissance era; or the shawm, a Medieval/Renaissance double reed wind instrument — the ancestor of the oboe. Then there’s the viol or viola da gamba, an elder of the cello, and the unusually shaped crumhorn, which may be the great-grandparent of the clarinet.

   You could have seen and heard these instruments, and experience the sometimes merry, sometimes plaintive sounds of music from the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and American Colonial eras, when the Guild for Early Music presented its 12th annual festival, titled “The Zodiac and the Night Sky...”

   Engelchor combined forces with La Spirita to perform music from the 15th -century court of Burgundy — known for prolific composers such as Guillaume Dufay and Gilles Binchois…

   The a cappella vocal chamber group Mostly Motets will be playing music from the Renaissance with text about stars and the night sky, to go with the festival’s theme…

Blackmore's Night

Blackmore's Night:  Ritchie Blackmore, Candice Night, Earl Grey of Chimay, Bard David of Larchmont,The Scarlett Fiddler, Lady Lynn, and Troubadour of Aberdeen...

Night was working at a local New York rock music radio station When, she first encountered Blackmore she asked him for an autograph. The two started living together in 1991. Both shared a passionate interest in Renaissance music...

In 1997 the project started as being a pun of their own names, which would consist of themselves plus session musicians. Their debut album Shadow of the Moon was a musical success... Over time, Night has increasingly participated instrumentally as well as singing the vocals, and is competent in a wide variety of Renaissance instruments.

The group performs internationally, mainly in historical venues including castles theaters and opera houses for an audience dressed largely in period costume...

The Boston Camerata

Camerata's musical performances are well known for their blending of spontaneity and emotional commitment with careful research and scholarship. With its distinguished roster of singers and specialists in early instruments, Camerata produces an intown concert series for audiences in the Greater Boston area. The Boston Camerata also tours regularly in the US and all over the world. These live performances present vital, historically informed performances of European music of the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque eras, and of early American music, sacred and secular.

The Camerata's many LP and CD recordings, as well as its numerous media appearances and educational projects, have brought its work to audiences in every continent.

Future concerts – see website for schedule: http://www.bostoncamerata.com/blog/upcoming/

Puer Natus Est:
A Medieval Christmas A glimpse of Christmas spirituality from Medieval France, Italy, England, and Provence, including music of the church and songs of private devotion around the joyous theme of the Nativity. Included are songs to the Virgin Mary, processionals from Saint Martial of Limoges, hymns, lyrics, and miracle ballads sung in Latin, Old French, Old Provençal, and Saxon, interlaced with Medieval English texts of the Nativity. The cast features an extraordinary trio of women’s voices with harp and vielle.

In Dulci Jubilo:
A German Christmas In the European North, the forests are deep; the nights are dark and long. Perhaps this is why, in reaction, the early Christmas music of the German-speaking peoples is so intensely joyful, so profoundly rich. Our program explores the marvelous music of German Christmas festivity through chants and chorales, simple carols, grandiose polyphony, and instrumental fantasias of the 15th to early 17th centuries. This new program will feature the stellar Boston Camerata Wind Ensemble and an expanded consort of voices and early instruments.

Treasures of Devotion:
Spiritual Song in Northern Europe 1500-1540 Music of personal devotion from the early Renaissance, reflecting the spirituality of homes, family circles, and small chapels in an age of intense religious renewal. Prayers, songs, chants, including music for the Virgin, meditations on the cross, and astonishing reworkings of the day’s popular melodies to sacred texts by Josquin, Agricola, Compère, Senfl, Clemens non Papa, and others.

A Medieval Masterpiece Revisited This powerful, highly-praised production returns to Boston in 2017 as part of a national tour. The themes of justice, and of truth spoken to power, are once again front and center as the Jewish captive Daniel confronts the tyrannical Belshazzar. The magnificent musical play of Daniel, composed eight centuries ago in Beauvais, France was newly transcribed from the original manuscript source and powerfully staged for modern audiences by Anne Azéma, it was premiered in Boston in 2014 to critical and public acclaim.


Middle Ages and Renaissance anniversaries

This year is a significant one for Middle Ages and Renaissance anniversaries. It has been 1,000 years since the Danish conquest of England in 1066, 800 years since the death of King John (of Magna Carta fame) in 1216, and 400 years since the deaths of both William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes in 1616.

November- December Faires


Mobile Renaissance Faire and Pirate FestivalNovember 14 - 15, 2015, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.Admission: $10 / Contact: Steven Melei, Mobile Renaissance Faire, 3603 Mobile Hwy., Pensacola, FL 32505, (850) 429-8462, email: sadie50us@yahoo.com, web: www.gcrf.us / Site: Medieval Village, 30569 Eagle Lane, Robertsdale, AL 36567 / Booths: 50 / Attendance: 6,500 / Weapons: must be peace-tied / Camping and hotels nearby.


November 7, 2015, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Admission: $1 / Contact: Gravette Library, 407 Charlotte St SE, Gravette, AR, 72736, (479) 787-6955, email: soler@ochonline.com, web: Gravette Public Library Facebook Page / Site: Old Town Park, Gravette, AR / Booths: 25 / Attendance: 1,300 / Weapons: must be peace-tied / Camping nearby.


November 7 - 8, 2015, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.Admission: $10 / Contact: Joyce Roberts, Two Fayre Ladies, 4546 E. Ashlan, Fresno, CA 93726, (559) 392-0965, email: queensfavr@aol.com, web: www.twofayreladies.com or facebook page “Kearney Renaissance Faire” / Site: Kearney Park, 7160 W. Kearney Blvd., Fresno, CA 93722 / Booths: 40 / Attendance: 5,000 / Weapons: must be peace-tied / On-site camping available for participants.


Camelot DaysNovember 14 - 22, 2015, (WO) 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.Admission: $15 / Contact: Brad Hanafourde, Camelot Days, Inc., 6971 SW 64th St., Miami, FL 33143, (786) 332-0047, email: brad@camelotdays.com, web: www.camelotdays.com / Site: Topeekeegee Yugnee Park, 3300 N. Park Rd. Hollywood, Florida 33021, I-95 to Sheridan St., west to N. Park Rd. / Booths: 150 / Attendance: 4,000 / Weapons: must be sheathed and peace-tied / Limited on-site camping by request for performers and vendors.

Kathy Stone plunged a sword today into a "stone" that will become a permanent memorial to her late husband, Mike, who was known for his tireless volunteer work.

The memorial is at the site of the Lady of the Lakes Renaissance Faire, which is staged by the Educational Foundation of Lake County, off County Road 448 in Tavares. Mike Stone, who died July 16 at age 63, was a dedicated foundation volunteer and a faire workhorse. This year's faire is set for Nov. 4-6 and 11-13…
 Picture and complete article:

November 4 - November 13, 2016, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.Admission: $13 / Contact: Educational Foundation of Lake County, 910 E. Dixie Ave., Leesburg, FL 34748, (352) 326-1265, email: cullen-battc@lake.k12.fl.us, web: www.medievalfest.com / Site: Hickory Point Recreation Park, 27341 St. Rd. 19, Tavares, FL / Booths: 75 / Attendance: 13,000 / Weapons: must be peace-tied / Hotels/motels nearby.

Sarasota Medieval FairNovember 7 - 22, 2015, (WO) 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.Admission: $17.95 / Contact: Sarasota Medieval Fair, Inc., PO Box 21371, Bradenton, FL 34204, (888) 303-3247 (FAIR), email: info@sarasotamedievalfair.com, web: www.sarasotamedievalfair.com / Site: Sarasota County Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL / Booths: 100+ / Attendance: 63,000 / Weapons: must be peace-tied / No camping on-site. Hotels and campgrounds nearby.


November 5 - December 11, 2016, (WO & Thanksgiving Friday) 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Admission: $18 / Contact: Alvon Brumfeld, PO Box 220, Robert, LA 70455, (985) 429-9992, email: info@larf.org, web: www.larf.org or www.la-renfest.com / Site: 46468 River Rd., Hammond, LA / Booths: 100 / Attendance: 55,000 / Weapons: must be peace-tied / Camping & hotels within 15 minutes of site.


FaerieCon: The Int'l Faerie Convention 
November 4 - 6, 2016, Fri. 1 p.m. - 11 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. - 11 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Admission: $45 for weekend pass or $12-20 per day / Contact: Kelly or Emilio Miller-Lopez, PO Box 51177, Eugene, OR 97405, (514) 687-0945, email: info@faerieworlds.com, web: www.faeriecon.com / Site: Baltimore Marriott Hunt Valley Inn, Baltimore, MD / Booths: N/A / Attendance: 6,000 / Weapons: not allowed / Hotels nearby.

Carolina Renaissance Festival

…Matt Siegel, director of marketing and entertainment for the festival, tells me the event is "off to a great start" with nearly 115,000 people having attended so far. Average attendance for the eight-week run is about 180,000, he says.,,

The Carolina Renaissance Festival combines outdoor theater, an artisan marketplace, games of skill and more in a 25-acre village nestled in the woods off Poplar Tent Road in Huntersville. Revelers will find cottages and castles, jousting knights and all manner of unusual characters wandering in their midst. Pubs and kitchens along the festival path serve up local craft beer, mead, roasted turkey legs and bread bowls, among other fare.

Organizers bring on about 350 seasonal employees to work in food and beverage service, ticket sales, parking and other areas, plus hundreds more costumed performers who roam the grounds.

Preparations for the festival's annual run go on all year, Siegel says. Offseason projects include working with partners to improve marketing, entertainment and craft-vendor offerings as well as planning and implementing solutions for challenges experienced the season prior…

Complete article and lots of pictures:

October 3 - November 22, 2015, (WO) 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m
Admission: $24; $23 adv / Contact: Matt Siegel, 11056 Renaissance Dr. #130, Davidson, NC 28036, (704) 896-5544, email: carolinarenfest@royalfaires.com, or matt@royalfaires.com, web: www.royalfaires.com/carolina / Site: 16445 Poplar Tent Rd., Huntersville, NC / Booths: 110 / Attendance: 170,000 / Weapons: must be peace-tied / Participant camping on-site; motels and campgrounds nearby.


Texas Renaissance Festival

..What I learned is that everyone has a favorite show. Mine is probably “Blunt Force Drama: International Combat Tournament of Champions.” As I describe to my friends, it is WWE with swords, axes and other weapons. During fights (and short breaks even), four combatants taunt each other and use real techniques as volunteers from the crowd determine the winner. It’s definitely my favorite show, but not suitable for the pint-sized folk.
My niece, Lila, really, really, really liked the Fire Whip Show performed by Adam ‘Crack’ Winrich. If it was up to her, we would stay there all day and never watch anything else. It’s a very goofy show, since Adam is hilarious, and the final moments with the flaming whip are worth the wait.

My brother, Greg, made it clear that tradition dictates we had to see the mudmen or the Sturdy Beggars before we leave the festival...

Hundreds of visitors to Todd Mission stepped into a time warp this weekend, as the Texas Renaissance  Festival opened its gates for its 42nd season. Everyone from a shirtless man in Ray-Ban sunglasses carrying a bottle of red wine, to a woman in a bright blue Cinderella dress—complete with six-foot-long train—seemed to be enjoying themselves on opening day of the two-month-long festival.

The version of the Middle Ages on display at the RenFest isn’t exactly completely historically accurate. Costumes ranged from leather dominatrixes to Star Wars storm troopers to Anonymous-style Guy Fawkes masks. There was also a fair amount of lederhosen on display, as the weekend’s theme was Oktoberfest…

Despite it only being opening day, none of the acts we caught seemed rusty. Christophe the Insulter—who, as his name implies, will insult any audience member if you pay him enough—impressively managed to work in references to both Saint Francis of Assisi and Cousin Itt, and to quote Alien within about ten minutes. (Parents, do not take your children to see his act unless you want them to acquire a very thorough understanding of female anatomy…)

This year is your last chance to visit the festival before its off-season facelift. Next season will see the RenFest expand to add three more acres to the park, to create a storybook village-type area, as well as a new themed weekend…

October 8 - November 27, 2016, (WO & Thanksgiving Fri) 10 a.m. - dusk
Admission: $27 / Contact: Texas Renaissance Festival, 21778 FM 1774, Plantersville, TX 77363, (800) 458-3435, email: TAlbert@texrenfest.com, web: www.texrenfest.com / Site: 21778 FM 1774, Plantersville, TX / Booths: 400 / Attendance: 606,000 / Weapons: must be peace-tied / See web site for lodging info.


Now entering its fourth year, the Utah Winter Faire (http://www.utahwinterfaire.com/) combines the best parts of a Renaissance Faire with elements of pirate, fantasy and Steampunk entertainment. The result is an event with something for the whole family. This year, the Utah Winter Faire will be open December 2-4 at the Legacy Events Center in Farmington.

The variety of attractions at the Utah Winter Faire is certain to stimulate guests' sense of wonder and curiosity. The Faire features a variety of accomplished artisans demonstrating skills that few possess. In addition, dozens of vendors will be attending; a complete list is available on the website. When not shopping for a perfect gift, or watching an artisan ply her trade, guests can enjoy unique attractions like juggling, dancing and storytelling. All entertainment is free with general admission.

Returning to this year's edition of the Faire is the Armored Combat League, who will be holding their Western Conference Tournament. Combatants wear real armor and wield real weapons in full-contact matches that are as incredible as they sound. The Armored Combat League is among the most spectacular and popular events at the Faire, and as with every other attraction, entry is free with general admission.

As a family-friendly event, the Utah Winter Faire has several activities geared for the youngest guests. Children can participate in activities like the Children's Quest, explore the Village Green area or meet the Faire's many colorful characters – Steampunk Santa, the Arctic queen, mermaids, and famous historical figures. One of the goals at the Utah Winter Faire is to combine education and interactive entertainment in a way that children won't soon forget.

From noon until 1 p.m. on the opening day of the Utah Winter Faire, admission is free to all students. This special "Children's Day" offer covers home schools, public schools, private schools and any other educational groups. Instructors can download educational packets to help them incorporate a trip to the Faire into a lesson plan on medieval history and culture or fantasy literature, among other possible topics.

General admission to the Utah Winter Faire is $12 at the door, and children 6 and under get in free. Discounted prices are available online through December 1.

December 2 - 4, 2016, 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Admission: $7 - $12 / Contact: Lora Harpster, Utah Winter Faire LLP, 2723 S 450 West, Bountiful, UT 84010, (801) 803-4131, email: utahwinterfairinfo@gmail.com, web: utahwinterfaire.com, / Site: Legacy Events Center, Farmington, UT / Booths: 40 / Attendance: 4,000+ / Weapons: must be peace-tied / Hotels nearby.

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