programs for adults

Musical performance:

Pneuma performs a range of medieval song, early polyphony, and instrumental works.  Languages include Old Occitan, Italian, Latin, Middle English, Old French, Middle German, and Galego-Portuguese.

Narrative "jongleuresque" performance

Lai de Bisclaveret (the Tale of the Werewolf)
(12th C, Old French/Anglo-Norman, 40 min)

Probably Marie de France's best-loved tale, featuring a heroic werewolf and music from the Harley 978 ms.

"A magical visit from a seer from another world."  ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭  Stage Door, April 2017

Floris and Blancheflor
(Late 13th/Early 14th C, Old French and Middle English, 90 min)

One narrator performs eighteen roles, with a comic plot similar to Mozart's "Abduction from the Seraglio."

"Floris and Blancheflour was *stunning* Entrancing to watch, and the feat of  memory was just as impressive.
The standing ovation was thoroughly,  richly deserved."  - audience member

The Nun's Priest's Tale
(14th C, Middle English, 50 min)

Chaucer's fabliau of fox and rooster, narrated by an ambitious young priest who loves to show off his astrolabe.

Samson Dux Fortissime
(12th C, Latin, 25 min)
A sung musical retelling of the biblical narrative of Samson and Delilah.

(12th C, Latin, 45 min)
A fast-paced five-character "eligiac comedy" performed as a solo, with mask and mime.

Pneuma has previously presented these as hour-long talks with live musical examples on the following topics:

Medieval Composers: four personalities and their works
Hildegard von Bingen, Bernart de Ventadorn, Neidhart von Reuental, Guillaume de Machaut


medieval instruments and modern attempts to reconstruct them


the quasi-legendary troubadours: some better known works, some rarities

Trade Routes and Translation Schools
"wandering musicians" in medieval Europe and beyond

Dante and Music
musicians, music, and music theory in the Divine Comedy and in Dante's life

Medieval Philosophy of Music
"the music of the spheres," music in medieval thought and pedagogy