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Who Is Shakespeare's Dark Lady?

Shakespeare's "Dark Lady" sequence (sonnets 127-152),  is the source of one of the greatest mysteries of English Literature: Who is this Dark Lady?

While several theories have been offered, one in particular, (offered by David Lasocki in his 1995 book The Bassanos: Venetian Musicians and Instrument Makers in England, 1531-1665), is the inspiration for an early music dramatization by the Flanders Recorder Quartet, premiering July 18th at the Amherst Early Music Festival in New London, Connecticut.

The production, written and narrated by Professor of American Literature Lawrence Rosenwald (Wellesley College), springs from the premise that Emilia Bassano Lanier is that dark lady.

Harmonia's Angela Mariani recently spoke with Professor Rosenwald about this world premier. In the audio excerpt posted above, they discuss the theme of the Dark Lady, the history of the Bassano family, and Professor Rosenwald shares a beautiful recitation of Shakespeare's Sonnet 130!

More information about Shakespeare’s Dark Lady:An Entertainment for Narrator, Soprano, and Recorder Quartet by The Flanders Recorder Quartet, featuring Julianne Baird, soprano, and Lawrence Rosenwald, narrator, can be found on the Amherst Early Music Festival website.

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