The medieval village of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert is one of the most beautiful places you can imagine. And, on a hot weekend in late June, it was the setting for two days of intense music making and dialogue around the theme of music in the Mediterranean world. The Boston Camerata gave the first concert, a narration in music and poetry around the legend of William of Orange, the patron saint of the village and a major figure of medieval legend. The second concert was dedicated to the wonderful Cantigas of King Alfonso el Sabio — the pioneering program that was named “Best of the Year” by the Boston Globe a few seasons back — with an international cast from France, Germany, the U.S., Spain, Morocco, and Turkey.

During the day, in the newly dedicated museum of medieval art at the Abbey of Gellone, scholars and performers presented fascinating papers on various aspects of Mediterranean music making. All of the events were conceived and organized by Joel Cohen and the Camerata Mediterranea. You can find out much more about the concerts and colloquium on their web site.  It was Cam Med’s big public event since it incorporated as a French non-profit association two years ago. We wish the Mediterranea all the best in its future endeavors, some of which, Joel tells us, will be taking place State-side as well.

More projects at Saint Guilhem, involving both Cameratas, are also in the works. Please check back here for future developments!