Lea Desandre, mezzo
Thomas Dunford, lute

Friday, November 03, 2023 - 7:30 PM
American Philosophical Society

American Philosophical Society

Benjamin Franklin Hall,
427 Chestnut Street
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$30.00 per ticket

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About This Performance

There are a thousand ways to write love and a thousand ways to live it. French-Italian mezzo-soprano Lea Desandre and renowned lutenist Thomas Dunford remind us of this by bringing together these works dedicated to love by Italian composers of the 17th century. The dialogue among pieces by Monteverdi, Merula, Kapsberger, and Frescobaldi highlights the richness and complexity of the sentiment. If love songs today have other finery, Lettera amorosa sighs that the motives and messages remain similar.

Lettera amorosa
Monteverdi: "Sí dolce è’l tormento"
Frescobaldi: "Se l'aura spira" from Primo libro d'arie musicali per cantarsi
Kapsberger: Toccata No. 6
Dalza: "Calata ala Spagnola"
Handel: "Lascia la spina" from Il trionfo del Tempo e della Verità
Kapsberger: Toccata No. 5
Monteverdi: "Se i languidi miei sguardi (lettera amorosa)" from The Seventh Book of Madrigals
Kapsberger: "Figlio dormi"
Handel: "Frondi tenere e belle ... Ombra mai fù" from Serse
Kapsberger: Toccata No. 1
Merula: "Canzonetta spirituale sopra alla nanna"
Kapsberger: Toccata No. 3
Merula: "Folle è ben che si crede"
Monteverdi: "Quel sguardo sdegnosetto"

Running time: 1 hour and 40 minutes (including intermission) 

Watch the livestreamed concert via the video player below.

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Special thanks to Susan Giesecke Bloom and A. Charles Winkelman with support from The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, Theodore Presser Foundation, Dot and Rick Nelson, Sid Kaplan, and the American Philosophical Society for their support of our livestream series, and for helping us deliver world-class artistry to audiences around the globe.

The Artist(s)

Lea Desandre, mezzo-soprano
French-Italian mezzo-soprano Lea Desandre studied in Venice with Sara Mingardo and was selected for William Christie’s Jardin des Voix in 2015. She was awarded Vocal Discovery and Lyrical Artist of the Year at the Victoires de la Musique Awards in 2017 and 2021 respectively. In addition to her vocal talents, she is also a trained ballet dancer.… Read More
Thomas Dunford, lute
Born in Paris in 1988, Thomas Dunford discovered the lute at the age of nine, thanks to his first teacher Claire Antonini. He completed his studies in 2006 at the Conservatoire de Paris (CRR), when he obtained a unanimous 1st Prize with honors in the class of Charles-Edouard Fantin. Dunford continued his studies at the Schola Cantorum in Basel with Hopkinson Smith and participated in several master classes with artists such as Rolf Lislevand and Julian Bream and in workshops with Eugène Ferré,… Read More


Lea Desandre & Thomas Dunford | Handel: "Ombra mai fu"
Lea Desandre & Thomas Dunford with the Jupiter Ensemble