Hidden Voices: The Orphan Musicians of Venice

Cape Ann Museum’s Saturday Showcase brings Venice and Vivaldi to Gloucester!

Gloucester neighbors author Pat Lowery Collins and musician Robert Squires are bringing Venice and Vivaldi to the Cape Ann Museum. On Saturday, January 23 at 11:00 a.m. join us for a reading of Hidden Voices: The Orphan Musicians of Venice with musical accompaniment. This young adult historical novel weaves the history of Antonio Vivaldi’s early musical career into the lives of three young women who excel in voice and instrument. This program is free to the public. Reservations are required.

Pat Lowery Collins is the author of many acclaimed books, including the novels The Fattening Hut, Just Imagine, and Signs & Wonders, as well as the picture books I Am a Dancer, I Am an Artist, and Schooner. She says that the inspiration for Hidden Voices ‘came from a single fact heard on my classical music station: that Antonio Vivaldi wrote countless concertos to showcase the talents of orphan girls and snare husbands for a lucky few. Intrigued, I dug more deeply and discovered so much rich and often apocryphal material that it was almost overwhelming. As did Vivaldi, I chose to focus on the orphans themselves and to acquaint readers with the composer and his music through their story.’ Pat teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at Lesley University and lives in Massachusetts.

Robert Squires has presented solo concerts in South America, Canada, and the United States. His repertoire includes classical and contemporary selections spanning from the Renaissance to the 21st century. Robert was formerly lead guitarist for the popular Boston-based Beatles tribute band Beatle Juice for ten years, and has taught in the Phillips Exeter Academy Music Department as a guitar instructor for thirty years. He will accompany Pat by playing Vivaldi’s Concerto en R_ Majeur pour guitare (ou luth) et orchestre a cordes on solo guitar. This is a piece he enjoyed playing in the 1980s, and looks forward to revisiting.

Introduced in September 2005, Saturday Showcase is designed to bring parents, children, and community members into the Museum to share enriching experiences. The focus is on the visual and performing arts, with strong ties to Cape Ann. Painters, musicians, dancers, and storytellers are among the artists who have presented programs. Funding to support the Saturday Showcase series has been provided by The Goldhirsh Foundation.

The Cape Ann Museum is located at 27 Pleasant Street in Gloucester. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Museum is closed during the month of February, on Mondays, and on major holidays. Admission is $8.00 adults, $6.00 Cape Ann residents, seniors, and students. Children under 12 and Museum members are free. The Museum is wheelchair accessible. For more information or to make a reservation please call: (978) 283-0455 ext 11. Additional information can be found online at www.capeannmuseum.org.