Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Celebration of the Madonna in Rome

The Via dei Banchi Vecchi runs through a fascinating part of Rome between the river and the Piazza Navona. For example at number 12 you'll find the 18th century Chiesa Santa Lucia Del Gonfalone.
Bill and I took note of an upcoming concert advertised outside, then stepped through the door.
We found yet another stunning Roman church full of interesting elements.
 A chapel devoted to Saint Lucy, a 4th century martyr. She presents her eyes on a metal plate.
 Another chapel featuring this charming vitrine.
 A modern painting The Little King (Our Lady Crowns the Child Jesus), 2003 by British surrealist painter John Kirby
We returned to the church to attend the concert in honour of the woman Catholics call the Blessed Virgin Mary. As this icon illustrates, the church is dedicated to the Madonna. 
 On the night of the concert, Bill and I took our seats, read the program and looked up at the ceiling.
 Astonishing paintings, cumulating, over the altar with The Assumption of Our Lady in the Vision of St Bonaventure, 1863.
The recital consisted of music for solo organ by Anton Giulio Perugini (1932), performed by the composer, who was out of sight,  and songs by Saint-Saens, Puccini and Handel, performed (with organ) by soprano Bibiana Carusi, interspersed by readings from literature.
Carusi's voice was splendid
filling the church with her performances of Ave Maria and Salve Regina.
The organist (and composer) Perugini emerged to take his bow. The fellow on the left read the texts. 
 The performers paid tribute to someone I can only deduce was the musical director.
A lovely evening in a splendid space filled with feeling.


  1. Absolutely, Shelley. And the performers and the "musical director" were very warm and friendly to us and the other audience members afterwards.