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Presentation: Eighth blackbird on Colombine’s Paradise Theatre



Presentation: Eighth blackbird on Colombine’s Paradise Theatre

Commedia dell'arte star Isabella Andreini dazzled 17th century audiences, performing in her own plays, which often called on Isabella to feign madness and adopt her celebrated hermaphroditic persona to play all the parts, male and female.  Her spirit echoes in the genre-defying theatrical adventure by composer/librettist Amy Beth Kirsten in Colombine’s Paradise Theatre.  Grammy winning sextet eighth blackbird commissioned Kirsten and collaborate on her brilliant new commedia for our time, a blending of the tuneful features of Renaissance music with modern musical experimentation intensified by the use of masks, costumes, and lighting design.


Join us for this spirited talk with the eighth blackbird musicians and composer Amy Beth Kirsten about the creation of Colombine’s Paradise Theatre and its relationship to Italy’s rich history of art and culture. To illuminate the connections, the artists are joined for the talk by The University of Chicago’s Robert L. Kendrick, award-winning Professor of Music, and Natalie Crohn Schmitt, Professor Emerita, Theatre and English at the University of Illinois Chicago.


eighth blackbird performs Colombine’s Paradise Theatre September 12, at MCA Stage, 220 East Chicago Avenue. For tickets please visit or call 312.397.4010.


Kirsten is a recipient of the 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition. Her works aim to integrate music, language, and movement in theatrical settings and have been engaged by leading venues such the Miller Theatre in New York, for Colombine’s Paradise Theatre, and Carnegie Hall, for strange pilgrims, commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra for string orchestra, chorus, and film.


Schmitt has more than forty refereed articles and book chapters published on a range of topics in theatre theory, from Aristotle to John Cage, and in theatre criticism, from medieval drama to contemporary experimental theatre.

Kendrick works largely in early modern music and culture, with additional interests in Latin American music, historical anthropology, and the visual arts, and is author of The Sound of Milan, 1580-1650 (2002) and Celestial Sirens (1996). In addition to faculty positions with the Departments of Music and of Romance Languages and Literatures, he is a member of Milan’s Accademia Ambrosiana, and one of the co-editors of the forthcoming collected works of Alessandro Grandi, the great northern Italian composer of the early Baroque era.Click here for more information.


Date: Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Entrance : Free