Mostre - Convegno - Musica


giovedì 21 - sabato 30 giugno

Festival TeamProgramme - Media Coverage

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The San Giovanni Battista Festa della Cultura is a new event dedicated to the people of Florence to celebrate the feast day of the city’s patron saint on 24th June. The festival is intended to grow each year and become an integral part of the Florentine calendar for its citizens and visitors alike. In fact, it is designed to bring Italian and Anglo-Florentine artists and audiences closer together.

This will be presented by i Buontalenti - a venture recently founded by five colleagues to initiate creative opportunities and work for Florentine artists, musicians and writers. The festival will be in partnership with Associazione Via Maggio, the British Institute of Florence and St. Mark’s English Church. We are most grateful for the patronage of the Comune di Firenze, the Provincia di Firenze, the Società San Giovanni Battista and the sponsorship of Knight Frank Italy.


There will be a conference entitled “Preparing the Way -  the representation of the image of John the Baptist in art, music and literature”. Sara Milne, Director of the British Institute of Florence and Honorary British Consul, has offered the The Harold Acton Library for our venue on Friday 22nd June.  Art historian Monsignor Timothy Verdon, Canon of Florence Cathedral and Director of Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, will be the keynote speaker.

Other speakers will include Professor Carolyn Gianturco, foremost expert on Stradella; Professor Corinna Salvadori Lonergan, an authority on Dante and Professor Matteo Sansone, musicologist at New York University in Florence. The conference will be chaired by Mark Roberts MBE, MA, Cultural Programme co-ordinator, British Institute of Florence.


In 1675, the Confraternity of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini in Rome commissioned a series of oratorios for Holy Year. One of the most memorable was Alessandro Stradella’s San Giovanni Battista. The work was significant not just because it represented St Mark’s story of Florence’s patron saint but for its innovative musical scoring and imaginative libretto by Florentine mannerist writer Ansaldo Ansaldi.

The oratorio will be presented in two semi-staged performances on 24th & 25th June at St Mark’s English Church by some of Florence's most talented baroque singers and musicians. It will feature Francesco Ghelardini, counter-tenor as San Giovanni; Chiara Chisu, soprano as Salome; Gabriele Lombardi baritone as Herod with Jean-Marie Quint, baroque violoncello and Robin Walker (organist at Badia Fiorentina) as Music Director & Harpsichordist. It will be produced by the Festival’s Artistic Director John Hoenig.


All these events are designed to celebrate the life and inspiration of the city's patron saint and to provide work for local artists, musicians and writers now and in the future.

We are most grateful for the support we have received from the following organisations and look forward to developing further partnerships with other cultural associations and patrons of the arts.

sculpture by Jason Arkles

There will be over twenty exhibitions showcasing significant antiquarian works representing San Giovanni Battista from rarely-seen private collections on display for ten days in the Via Maggio galleries. In addition there will be new work by contemporary painters, sculptors, photographers and visual artists inspired by the theme of the life of the Patron Saint of Florence. These exhibitions will be curated by Associazione Via Maggio in partnership with i Buontalenti.

The contemporary artists are: painters Antonio Ciccone, Alessandro Vannini, Caroline Jervis, Massimo Pivetti and Helen Bayley; sculptors Jason Arkles & Alan Pascuzzi; photographer Neri Fadigati and visual artists Alessandra Ragionieri, Alessandro Secci and Andrea Guastavino.

The Festival

Festa della Cultura - San Giovanni Battista - Firenze 2012

Other Events


  ‘I Musici Toscani’

Giovanni Battista Viotti

String Quartet No. 13 in F Major

Cappella Palatina, Palazzo Pitti

Thursday 28th June 17.00

in partnership with

Amici di Palazzo Pitti

Visite guidate alla Cappella di Santi di Tito

dedicata a San Giovanni Battista

Palazzo Ridolfi Zanchini, Via Maggio 13

Friday 29th June

15:30-16:15  &  16:15-17:00

Patrons (patrocinio)

Oratorio Sponsors

Media Partners

Venue Partners

Visite guidate alla sacrestia di Santa Felicita

per vedere le opere d’arte

dedicate a San Giovanni Battista

Saturday 30th June

15:00-15:45  &  16:00-16:45


”Il Canto Gregoriano per la Vergine
e San Giovanni Battista”

Maestro and organist Michele Manganelli

Chiesa di Santa Felicita

  1. sabato 30 giugno 21:00

© John Hoenig 2012