Thursday, December 13 2012 - 9:00 pm
720 Washington St.
Cape May, NJ
Telephone: (609) 465-3963
Url: Access to Art
The Tudors are coming to Cape May. In costume. All those who have a passion for the Renaissance and Renaissance festivals, put Thur., Dec. 13 on your calendar, and plan to enjoy an interesting discussion of Henry VIII, the most musical monarch of the Renaissance, who sang, read music, composed music, and played lute, virginals and organ.
Henry VIII hired more court musicians than any other Renaissance monarch, and his courtiers, and queens, all had to play the lute, sing, dance and entertain, or he was not happy with them. Henry’s court was known for its revels, music, and its Royal Chapell. Dr. Bert Greenspan, who taught at Rowan for five decades, will give us an entertaining talk on the greatest period of English music. He will perform something that everyone knows, and ask them to identify it. And he will be reviewing how the Renaissance was different musically than other periods. He will describe Henry VIII as brilliant, handsome, an author, a musician…who also turned out to be a serial killer.
Dr. Greenspan, who taught over 2000 students at Rowan, and spent 30 years as a concert master at the Reading Pa. Symphony Orchestra, performed for the Pennsylvania Ballet Company, is currently enjoying retirement in Florida where he is performing with a Baroque Orchestra in Fort Myers and is a violinist with the Naples Opera Company.
The event will transpire, with questions from the audience, and a little wine break, to be followed by the reading of a new play by Sheila Lynch Rinear, playwright from San Antonio, Tx. who has written over 50 plays.
Her play, Bound by Truth, will be read by four Equity actors who perform for East Lynne on occasion, as well as other venues. The reading will be directed by Mark E. Lang. It will look extensively on the relationship between Thomas More, former Chancellor of England, consigned to the Tower of London, for refusing to sign Henry’s oath making him the head of the church in England, where, if he did not renege, he would be decapitated and perhaps, disemboweled in a public display reserved for traitors. He had monks, Bishop John Fisher, confessor generals of the Brigittines, and the head of the Carthusians marched to their deaths before his window in prison. In all of this, he had the support of his daughter, his eldest, Margaret Roper. His wife, sons in laws, and friends abandoned him.
His daughter, Margaret More Roper, his brightest and favorite daughter, whom he had educated as well as anyone who attended Oxford in his home at Chelsea enjoyed the study of Greek, Latin, English, science, math, astronomy, music and even medicine. At Chelsea, along with his other two daughters, his step-daughter, and his son, and various relations and neighbors, they studied with don from Oxford and Cambridge and scholars from the continent.
Margaret More will also play a prominent part in the new play. In the 16th century, education was foreign to women. Only queens and princesses received an education, and king’s educations may have been heavier into jousting than Greek and Latin. Margaret translated Erasmus from the Greek to English. She was a brilliant writer and translator, but, because of her sex, she was not allowed to write. Her father wanted her virtuous, humble, and not seeking after vain glory.
More was a famed English humanist who had written “Utopia.” He was a best friend with Erasmus, the most famous humanist in Europe, who wrote “In Praise of Folly,” which he dedicated to More. More, like a group of young humanists at Oxford, was infatuated with the idea of the new learning: returning to Greek and Latin, translating from Greek to Latin to English. He studied the Greek moralists, poets, scientists. Erasmus translated the bible from the original Greek. Both were church reformers, who, in their youth, desired to reform the church from within. Henry VIII wrote a diatribe against Luther and was named “Defender of the Faith” by the Pope.
The world of the middle-ages was rapidly coming to an end, and the age of the Renaissance was rising. We departed from the thought of Augustine which had held the Middle Ages together: “The common good is to be preferred to our own selfish interests, and not our own selfish interests to the common good.” Humanity was now in hot pursuit of individualism. The community was about to be severed, and the Catholic faith, which had held for l000 years, was to be splintered. More lived in those times. He was one of the last medieval minds in England, who harkened back to the church of l000 years, the church that began hospitals, universities, and kept the bible through the ages, writing it be hand in monasteries.
Join Access to Art, Inc. as we get a little insight into this era which began the modern age which now seems sated with individualism, individual rights, and the cult of the self. The business of the common good often seems to be of less interest than the rights of individuals to take their interests way above the common good. Witness the recent behavior of the banks and the mortgage companies in crashing the economy and destroying one third of American wealth while rewarding the perpetrators with bonuses.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors, and students. Call Access to Art, Inc. at (609) 465-3963 to reserve tickets. Send checks to Access to Art, Inc., 4l7 E. Pacific Ave., Cape May Court House, N.J. 08210. See us online at www.accesstoart.org.