Live at Heritage Center presents Preeminent Folk Music Group, Ensemble Galilei

Oct 2, 2013 | Kristi Lynch

Heritage Center, the University of Dubuque’s new performing arts, worship, and campus center, continues its inaugural Live at Heritage Center Performing Arts Series with Ensemble Galilei: First Person Seeing America on Sunday, November 3 at 2:00 p.m.  Captivating narration by professional actors Lily Knight and Adrian LaTourelle combine with iconic images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the evocative music of Ensemble Galilei to create a powerful performance.

WHAT: Live at Heritage Center Performing Arts Series –
Ensemble Galilei: First Person Seeing America

WHEN: Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. (Free 1:00 p.m. pre-show lecture)

WHERE: John and Alice Butler Hall at Heritage Center

TICKETS: $25-$29 for adults, $15 for children/students

Hailed for its unique blend of Irish, Scottish, early and original music, Ensemble Galilei creates an inspired sound on stage and CD. Mixing the colors and styles of early instruments with Celtic traditions, the group is equally at home with Irish Reels and English country dance tunes. Embodying all of the precision of a first rate classical string quartet, Ensemble Galilei is versatile, virtuosic, energetic, and very entertaining.  

From its inception in 1990, Ensemble Galilei has redefined the boundaries of chamber music, created new work, seized opportunities for collaborative relationships, and consistently pushed the envelope in a series of innovative projects that explore combinations of images, words, and music. With images by some of America’s finest photographers, and the poetry and prose of some of America’s greatest writers, Ensemble Galilei’s newest project is First Person: Seeing America. The program takes audiences on an innovative journey combining the spoken word, music, and projected imagery.

The project harnesses the strength, diversity, and depth of the photographic collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art with photography by Walker Evans, Edward Curtis, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Weegee, and Thomas Eakins. The words of Langston Hughes, Carson McCullers, Damon Runyan, John Muir, Frederick Douglass, and others brilliantly bring people, events, and place to life. Ensemble Galilei provides the soundtrack including Bach, traditional music from Scotland and Ireland, and new compositions featuring fiddles, harp, viola da gamba, percussion, whistles and oboe. Transcendent and soulful music winds around the text as high-resolution images are projected on a large screen in the center of the stage.

Extraordinary photography paints a vivid picture, from indelible images of Native Americans to the haunted portraits of Americans as they struggle to survive events that shaped a nation – the Dust Bowl, the Civil War, the Great Depression, the immigrant experience. First Person Seeing America pays tribute to great photographers who captured it all – hardship, war, despair, and the gritty determination of extraordinary people in a magnificent land, from the sidewalks of New York to the majesty of Yosemite.

The performance will be preceded by a free pre-show lecture from 1:00 - 1:30 p.m., during which a member of Ensemble Galilei will share background information on the group and the afternoon’s program. The pre-show session will close with a question-and-answer period. Following the afternoon performance, audience members are invited to a special reception in the Bisignano Art Gallery complete with complimentary refreshments.

Tickets for Ensemble Galilei: First Person Seeing America can be purchased now at the Farber Box Office Monday through Friday from 12:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. or 90 minutes prior to showtime at Heritage Center; by phone at 563-585-SHOW; or online at

This engagement is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest, which is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts with additional contributions from the Iowa Arts Council.

TH Media serves as the Heritage Center 2013-2014 season presenting media partner.