Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Love's Fever: Written after the Black Death in Florence, this 14th century song proves remarkably prescient.

Deh Lassa La Mia Vita

This new film from opera and theatre director Eric Fraad, Love's Fever, takes a text from the end of Day Seven of The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375) in a contemporary setting by Lorenzo da Firenze (died 1372/73) and gives it a modern twist performed by Caitríona O’Leary, an Irish singer known both for her performances of early music and of Irish traditional music. 

Boccaccio wrote The Decameron after the Black Death hit Florence in 1348, and the 100 tales in the book are structured around a group of people in a villa who have fled Florence and the plague. The song, rather aptly, refers to the fear of never being able to return to life as we once knew it.

Alas, my life’s forlorn!
Oh, shall it ever be that I’ll regain
The place from which I had to part in grief

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