Imagine yourself seated at a table in 16th-century Tuscany. You are the guest of one of the most intellectually elite households in all of Italy. No, you are not at Cosimo I. de Medici’s house, but rather, at Vincenzo Galilei’s home. Vincenzo, the father of astronomer Galileo Galilei, is a well-respected musician who just arrived back from Venice, where he learned state-of-the-art music theory from Zarlino. Vincenzo admits to you that Zarlino’s theories about musical consonance and dissonance (i.e. the rules of harmonious music) are convincing and foresees them influencing music even in the 21st century. But Vincenzo then suddenly gets angry and pounds his fist on the table. “I don’t care if Zarlino is the music director of Saint Mark’s Cathedral,” he exclaims, “there is no human passion in his music!” Then he gets eerily silent and looks at you as if to confide a secret. He whispers, “Music should reveal the feeling behind the words.” With that, Vincenzo picks up his lute and starts singing – in first person – the words of Orpheus, who is eternally separated from Eurydice, his beloved wife. His sad music and song breathe life into the words he sings and emotion overcomes you; tears run down your face. Seated at that table, you have just taken part in the birth of opera, the quintessential art form that ushered in a new musical era, we now refer to as ‘baroque.’ Tempesta di Mare is Philadelphia’s premier baroque orchestra for a reason: every note they perform adheres to Vincenzo’s vision of music as rhetorical craft: a conversation that conveys all of human emotion and expression. Come welcome Tempesta di Mare to our show and let’s find out just how they do it (and if you can be sure you won’t be brought to tears in front of your date at one of their concerts)!