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Queen Christina of Sweden Concert

Seicento presents the story of Queen Christina of Sweden through narration and music. Declared a boy at birth, relabeled as a girl the following day, then raised to be “king” of Sweden during the mid-1600s, flamboyant Christina left a trail of ambiguous controversy that persisted throughout her life: dressing, talking and comporting herself as a man; spawning rampant rumors of trysts with both female subjects and robed clergymen; appropriating her nation’s riches for her own use; and betraying the religion for which her father and countless countrymen died. But the music, art and scholarship Christina inspired and commissioned remains a pure testament to her multi-faceted life and journey from austere, frigid Lutheran Sweden to lush, warm Catholic Rome.

In this project, we weave contemporary conjecture with historical fact in an original script by Boulder’s Becca Tice. The story will be accompanied by gorgeous musical works by composers Christina knew and loved: Scarlatti, Corelli, Gesualdo, Albrici. This fascinating queen ended the 30 Years War, but was called the "naughty daughter" and remembered for controversies-- her abdication, sexual preferences, attempts to become queen of Naples and Poland, and her sexual identity (her body was exhumed in 1965 and tested for signs of intersexuality with inconclusive results). The story is narrated by Jean Hodges, retired drama teacher for Boulder H.S. and the National President of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians & Gays). Alto Marjorie Bunday will be the voice of Christina; Soprano Abbi Chapman is "Belle" Sparre, Christina’s lady-in-waiting and lover; and internationally known tenor, Steven Soph, a Boulder resident, plays Christina’s confidant, advisor and male lover, Cardinal Azozlino. A pre-concert talk will consider the implications of a LGBTQ life in the 1600s, contrasted with the experience today. We will also offer academic insights o the music of the period and Christina's place in history.

Funded by Boulder, CO (January 2015)