You know we don’t like to brag about our work. We humbly do our job and since it is under everybody’s eyes, you can decide whether it is any good by participating or not in our events or by becoming a Member and supporting our mission.
But allow us a small bragging interval regarding a program we are particularly proud of because of its extraordinary value and the fact that it was born and developed entirely in house. I’m talking about the performance of The Worth of Women, a dialogue that is considered the first (proto) feminist text in history, written at the end of the 16th century in Venice by Moderata Fonte and forgotten soon after. It was recently rediscovered, edited, translated into English, and published by Professor Virginia Cox, the foremost scholar of Early Modern Italian women writers and a faculty in our own Department of Italian Studies.
When in 2017, Carnegie Hall dedicated an entire month to the Serenissima musical heritage, we decided to contribute with the live performance of this fundamental piece thanks to the engagement of our theater company in residence Kairos Italy Theater. The company Founding director Laura Caparrotti worked in close contact with stage director Jay Stern to come up with a version that remained faithful to the original text while providing appeal to contemporary audiences.
You can imagine how thrilled we were when the international women festival in Florence L’Eredità delle Donne asked us to bring the performance to Florence, where - thanks to our colleagues at Villa La Pietra - it was presented to a packed enthusiastic audience in the perfect context of the NYU campus in Florence. We are very proud to have co-produced this version of the performance and are very grateful to Laura, Jay, and the extraordinary actresses that brought back to life the reasonable yet revolutionary ideas Moderata Fonte expressed more than four centuries ago. I hope you’ll agree, we are entitled to a little bragging!
For a complete photo album of The Worth of Women performances, click here.
Stefano Albertini, Ph.D.
Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò
New York University