The 3MBS Dante700 Festival celebrates the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri’s death. The festival is curated by 3MBS presenters, Margot Costanzo and Karen van Spall and commemorates the poet’s legacy through a lecture series, a broadcast festival and live performances.

The 3MBS Dante700 Festival offers something for everyone.

  • For the curious or the informed Italophile, a lecture series, Out of Exile explores the Divine Comedy, Dante’s poetic achievements and the art that it inspired during the month of August. (POSTPONED UNTIL MARCH 2022)
  • For regular 3MBS listeners and new listeners, a broadcast festival from September 13th to September 20th will feature live-to-air performances and interviews from the curators and presenters of the Out of Exile series.
  • For live-music lovers, live performances of work inspired by the Divine Comedy will feature in a program called The Love that Moved the Stars during September.

And finally, there will be an opportunity to explore the Dante holdings of books and artworks from the State Library of Victoria and the National Gallery of Victoria during the State Library of Victoria’s exhibition World of the book 2021-22: The rare, the sacred and the iconic through September 2022.


Curators’ vision for the 3MBS Dante700 Festival

Dante Alighieri, the author of the Divine Comedy, took his last breath 700 years ago between September 13 and 14 1321. He died as a political exile in Ravenna, lamenting the salty bread, the abysmal standards of the church and the licentiousness of his beloved homeland Florence.

Karen van Spall and I celebrate the composers who were inspired by Dante in a 10-hour series called Dante in Music that includes music by Verdi, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Zandonai, Granados and Tischenko now streaming for free on the Festival website.

We now celebrate Dante and the musicians he inspired in a Festival of Broadcast music, live performances and lectures. 3MBS will be supporting an exhibition of visual images and books at the State Library of Victoria in conjunction with the National Gallery of Victoria. The Festival is supported by our lectures series partner CO.AS.IT. and with the support by the Dante Alighieri Society Melbourne, the oldest Dante society in Australia.

We hope that this Festival will attract people interested in Dante from all over the world. Please join us!

The Dante700 Festival is curated by Margot Costanzo and Karen van Spall.


Dante700 Broadcast Festival Program
13-20 September 2021

Wednesday 8 September

Wednesday at the Opera, 8pm
with Alan de Niese

Tune in to hear a world premiere recording of Francesca da Rimini(1831) by Saverio Mercadante.


Monday 13 September

Concert Hall, 2pm
with Thilo Troschke

Tune in to hear Symphonic Poem No.1, ‘The Passing of Beatrice’ (1892) by William Wallace

Intermezzo, 5pm
with Susan Porter

Hear an interview with Dante700 Festival Co-Curators, Margot Costanzo & Karen van Spall


Tuesday 14 September

Contemporary Visions, 8pm
with Tony Thomas

On-air presenter, Tony Thomas will explore excerpts from the oratorio Paradiso by Jacob Ter Veldhuis (1951 – ).


Wednesday 15 September

Music for Keyboards, 7pm
with Ric Ataide

Enjoy a double bill including a recorded interview by Margot Costanzo with Professor Leslie Howard AM – international broadcast patron; and a live-to-air performance featuring Coady Green and Christopher Smith who will perform the Australian premiere of Liszt’s four hands Transcription of his Dante Symphony.

Wednesday Night at the Opera, 8pm
with Nigel Simpson

Tune in to a world premiere recording of Benjamin Godard’s Dante et Béatrice.


Thursday 16 September

Morning Recital, 10am
with John Wilkinson

Hear Pianist Stefan Cassamenos’ rendition ofAprès une Lecture du Dante: Fantasia quasi Sonata, S158c by Liszt

Concert Hall, 2pm
with Ted Davies

Hear Boris Tischenko’s Dante Symphony No 1, Op 123 No 1 ‘Among the Living(1998-2005)

The Early Music Experience, 7pm
with Mark Shepard

Featuring an interview with International 3MBS Dante700 Festival patron, Dr. Federico Bardazzi, and an overview of his recorded works with Ensemble San Felice


Friday 17 September

Singers and Songs, 7pm
with Frank Prain

A presentation of Hymn to Thaïsby Jean Sibelius and the final duet from the opera Thaïs by Jules Massenet.


Saturday 18 September

Music in Melbourne, 11am
with Tim Hannah

Enjoy two interviews with Karen van Spall and Gulliver Poole.
1. Karen van Spall and Gulliver Poole discuss the Dante mini song cycle commission for The Parlour.
2. Coady Green discusses transcribing Granados’ Paolo e Francesca as an Art Song

Vocal Chords, 1pm
with Margot Costanzo

Hear a live-to-air performance featuring Karen van Spall and Coady Green as they perform Paolo e Francesca Op 1 No 2 by Enrique Granados and transcribed for piano and voice by Coady Green

Concert Hall, 2pm
with Doug Beecroft

Hear Laudi alla Vergine Maria from Quattro Pezzi Sacri by Giuseppe Verdi. Text by Dante Alighieri


Sunday 19 September

The Early Music Experience, 6am
with Mark Shepard

A repeat broadcast: featuring an interview with International 3MBS Dante 700 Festival patron, Dr. Federico Bardazzi, and an overview of his recorded works with Ensemble San Felice.

Choral Masterworks, 8pm
with Ruth O’Reilly

The conclusion of the Dante700 Broadcast Festival with curators Margot Costanzo and Karen Van Spall.