Monday, March 15, 2010

Incantato Performance Venue: Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere

Incantato Tours sends singers to hidden gems - like the Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere in Rome. Have a closer look at this venue:

The Basilica of Our Lady's in Trastevere (Italian: Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere) is a titular minor basilica, one of the oldest churches in Rome, perhaps the first in which mass was openly celebrated. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s AD. The inscription on the episcopal chair states that it is the first church dedicated to the Mother of God, although some claim that privilege belongs to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. In its foundation it is certainly one of the oldest churches in the city. A Christian house-church was founded here about 220 by Pope Saint Callixtus I. (217-222) on the site of the Taberna meritoria, an asylum for retired soldiers. The area was given over to Christian use by the Emperor Septimius Severus when he settled a dispute between the Christians and tavern-keepers. In 340 Pope Julius I. (337-352) rebuilt the titulus Callixti on a larger scale, and it became the titulus Iulii commemorating his patronage, one of the original twenty-five parishes in Rome; indeed it may be the first church in which Mass was celebrated openly. It underwent two restorations in the fifth and eighth centuries. In 1140-43 the church was re-erected on its old foundations under Pope Innocent II. Innocent II. razed the church, along with the recently completed tomb of his former rival Pope Anacletus II., to the ground, and arranged for his own burial on the spot formerly occupied by that tomb. The present nave preserves its original (pre-12th century) basilica plan and stands on the earlier foundations. The 22 granite columns with Ionic and Corinthian capitals that separate the nave from the aisles came from the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla, as did the lintel of the entrance door.
The picture is from the official website of the church. And here is a video taken during the 2008 Incantato Performance Tour for the Chapman University Choirs directed by Dr. Joseph Modica at Santa Maria in Trastevere which was attended by around 800 guests from all over the world.

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