The third in L'Arpeggiata's four-concert Perspectives series on March 16 is entitled La Tarantella: Antidotum Tarantulae. Here, Artistic Director Christina Pluhar reveals the unusual origins of the tarantella and her enthusiasm for performing with singer Lucilla Galeazzi.
There is a myth about tarantella music that tells that there is an illness called il tarantismo, and you get this illness when you're bitten by the tarantula spider. The only way to cure this illness is with the music. There is no other cure. There's no medicine—only the music can get rid of this illness. And the music is called la tarantella. This is where Antidotum Tarantulae comes into the title of the program.
We have descriptions going back to the 11th century of this kind of music and a lot of descriptions from the 17th century. But this music is still alive in the south of Italy. I was looking for "the living Baroque" again, and I invited Lucilla Galeazzi to perform with us for this project.
Lucilla Galeazzi is a wonderful performer and a wonderful singer. She has a magical voice and is very open to many styles. Her typical style is traditional Italian music, but she is also an excellent performer of jazz improvisations. We have performed La Tarantella and other projects with her because we love working together. Even though she is absolutely not a classical singer and not involved with Baroque music, she has something so Baroque about her voice. She is such a strong communicator on stage. The gestures and her capacity for storytelling when she's singing strophic songs give you the impression that even the people who don't speak the Neapolitan or south Italian dialects that she performs can understand every word.
I think Baroque performers can learn a lot from this kind of communication. We see these descriptions from the 17th century about the use of gestures, about the emotional power of a performer, of a singer who could move people and make people faint. We have this kind of description. Actually, we have performed a lot with Philippe Jaroussky and Lucilla. Philippe always tells us that he really learns a lot from Lucilla about the communication and the theatrical aspects.
Lucilla Galeazzi performs with Christina Pluhar and L'Arpeggiata.
Related:Perspectives: L'ArpeggiataMarch 14, L'Arpeggiata: Los pajaros perdidosMarch 15, L'Arpeggiata: Via CrucisMarch 16, L'Arpeggiata: La Tarantella: Antidotum TarantulaeMarch 17, L'Arpeggiata: Los Impossibles: Spanish and Neapolitan Music from the 17th Century