Friday the 24th July marked the opening of this summer’s must-see cultural evening event: La Divina Bellezza-Discovering Siena. In occasion of the first showing, the Accademia Chigiana opened the evening with the beautiful guitar and flute duet, ‘Duo Cordas et Bentu’ played by two of the Academy’s pupils, Francesca Appeddu and Maria Giovanna Luciani.
As the light began to fade and the evening started to take a hold, the illuminated façade of the never-to-be completed nave of the cathedral could be seen from the other side of the city, in hues of magical purples and magnificent reds. Then, as the notes of the duet faded with the last of the evening light, the voiceover announced the aptly named evening of ‘Divine Beauty’.
Bringing together art, culture, history and technology, the project uses the media of light and sound to explore the rich past of the city of Siena, from Duccio’s Maestà to Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s The Allegory of Good and Bad Government, from the story of the construction of the Cathedral (whose completion was to be cruelly interrupted by the onset of the Black Death), to the mosaics which make up the Cathedral’s magnificent pavimento. Interesting to note the lack of reference to the Palio and the world of the contradas, for instead the evening focused on celebrating the myriad other faces that the city has to offer, aspects which perhaps, for those lucky enough to live among them, become all far too easy to take for granted.
With an excellent parallel commentary in both Italian and English, the half hour video projection takes hold of the viewer’s senses, and offers a new vision of Siena, experienced in the warmth of a summer evening. Both visitor and citizen alike are asked to stand side by side and pause to reflect on the rich history and identity that has made Siena the city that we know and experience today. In the words of Alfredo Accatino, Creative Director of Filmmaster Events, ‘it is a project… that will enable us to render the invisible visible and to relive not only the history of Siena and the Cathedral, but also the spirit and soul of an entire city…’
So fellow visitor, slow your footsteps whilst in Siena, don’t just pass on by, but let the city take you into its magical hold, as you experience and become part of Siena under the stars this summer.
For information regarding times and prices: wwww.ladivinabellezza.com
Photo and Text by Claire Cocks