On the night of the summer solstice, Sunday 21st June, the Siena Cathedral Complex will present the fourth edition of ‘Nights of the Cathedral’. The event will include the extraordinary late-night opening of the various buildings which make up the Siena Cathedral Complex: the Cathedral, Crypt, Museum of the Cathedral, Façade, Baptistery, Gate of Heaven, (for this last, booking mandatory); offering unusual and picturesque night-time views of the city and beyond.
The Lux in nocte evening will feature itineraries of the Cathedral’s important works of art, accompanied by music and dance, to communicate the light of the Cathedral complex in an innovative way. This year the event will be dedicated to Saint Catherine, patron saint of Italy and Europe. In the Crypt under the Cathedral, the masterpiece of the Sienese painter, Francesco Vanni, depicting Saint Catherine drinking the Blood from Christ’s side, will be displayed. During the evening, the painting will be explained by Marilena Caciorgna, along with Paola Lambardi, who dressed as Catherine, will read a few important passages taken from the correspondence of the Sienese saint.
During the course of the evening it will also be possible to take guided tours following a Catherinian itinerary inside the Cathedral, which aim to explore the theme in greater depth. The Madrigalisti Senesi, the Unione Corale Senese and the Istituto Franci will accompany the artworks with music and song. In Piazza Jacopo della Quercia the polyphonic group the Madrigalisti Senesi will open the evening with the programme Gesù, amor dolçe senza pare.
The songs will be accompanied by dance pieces performed by the Scuola Danza nel Mondo who will perform the piece Luce nella tua luce. In the Room of Statues in the Cathedral Museum, it will be possible to admire Duccio’s stained glass window and Giovanni Pisano’s sculpture masterpieces for the façade of the Cathedral. The Unione Corale Senese will perform Salus per sanguinem, once again introduced by Paola Lambardi in the shape of Saint Catherine. The pupils of the ISSM R. Franci will also pay tribute to the lux in nocte inside the Piccolomini Library. At the end of the evening the Orchestra a Plettro Senese, formed of string instruments which are played plucked, will perform various pieces including an unpublished work dedicated to the Sienese saint entitled Vegliate con Me.
The guide that will accompany and introduce visitors to every exhibition will be Ugo Giulio Lurini dressed as Raimondo da Capua, Saint Catherine’s confessor. For the triduum of Saint John, the reliquary of the arm of the Baptist will be on show inside the Cathedral, displayed inside an elegant reliquary dating from the end of the XVII century. The holy remains, donated to the Cathedral by Pope Pius II, are usually held inside a safe; the keys to open it are owned by the Opera of the Cathedral, the canons of the Cathedral and the City who will each send their representatives to the ceremony.
The Night Visits offers an all-encompassing experience for visitors, using light and sound to create an itinerary though art, faith, music and dance on the longest and lightest day of the year. The event, promoted by the Opera della Metropolitana di Siena and the Archdioceses of Siena (Colle di Val d’Elsa and Montalcino), is organized by Opera Civita Group.
For information and booking visit: www.operaduomo.siena.it