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2/12/2008 'Angels of Song' focus of Linfield talk

McMINNVILLE – Often called "Angels of Song," Venetian all-girl musical groups will be the focus of the next Linfield College faculty lecture.

Faun Tanenbaum Tiedge, Linfield professor of music, will present “Fact and Fiction: Foundling Virtuoso Musicians in 18th-Century Venice,” on Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 7:30 p.m. in 201 Riley Hall at Linfield.

In 18th-century Venice, Italy, the all-girl choirs and orchestras of charitable institutions were a major attraction. Writers have portrayed the female musicians as cloistered and nun-like or flirtatious and opportunistic. However viewed, their contributions to musical life in Italy represent a unique resource, according to Tiedge, who has researched the topic for more than 20 years after living and working in Venice as a Delmas scholar during her doctoral study.

"Writers have romanticized the Venetian all-girl choirs and orchestras," she said. "I'm comparing the actual facts with fiction. Who were these girls and what was life like for them?"

In her talk, Tiedge will draw on research focusing on the foundling musicians of the Ospedale della Pietà, where Antonio Vivaldi was maestro for many years. She will compare historical facts as preserved in the music and documents with the portrayal of the female musicians by various authors from the 18th to 20th centuries.

"Most of these children weren't orphans," she said. "But they became wards of four conservatories in Venice. Those who were musically talented were selected for the musical groups."

Tiedge, chair of the Department of Music since 2005, holds a bachelor's degree from Hunter College, a master's from Binghamton University and a Ph.D. from New York University.

The lecture is free and open to the public. The Linfield College faculty lecture series offers one presentation each month by a member of the Linfield faculty. For more information, call 503-883-2409.