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Sun, Apr 10


Online Event

Online lecture: Orlando Furioso, Renaissance Blockbuster

Join us for an introduction to the great pop culture phenomenon of the Italian Renaissance with Dr. Ariane Helou

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Online lecture: Orlando Furioso, Renaissance Blockbuster
Online lecture: Orlando Furioso, Renaissance Blockbuster

Time & Location

Apr 10, 2022, 7:00 PM

Online Event


About the Event

Orlando Furioso, Renaissance Blockbuster

Bestseller, groundbreaking masterpiece of Italian literature, and an inspiration for centuries of blockbuster entertainment: Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso (1532) was a literary and cultural game-changer. An epic poem created for the court but embraced in the piazza, it has all the elements of a great adventure story: heroes and villains, women warriors, passion and ferocity, a whole lot of magic, and even a journey to the moon! Ariosto’s epic has inspired paintings and sculptures, operas and plays and puppet shows, and works of literature from Don Quixote to the Harry Potter series. But despite its major role in shaping the literary and cultural world of Renaissance Europe, Orlando Furioso remains largely unknown to readers outside of Italy. Join us for an introduction to the great pop culture phenomenon of the Italian Renaissance and a conversation about how it continues to influence literature and narrative media today.


Dr. Ariane Helou’s research focuses on drama, music, and poetry in early modern Italy, England, and France. Dr. Helou is a grant writer at Caltech’s Beckman Institute and has been a faculty member at UCLA in the department of French & Francophone Studies and at UC Santa Cruz (where she also earned her PhD in Literature) in Theater Arts, Classical Studies, and French. She has published research on early modern Italian drama, music, and Shakespeare, and is co-editor, with Julia Reinhard Lupton, of ‘Cut Him Out in Little Stars’: Romeo and Juliet, Adaptation and the Arts, forthcoming from The Arden Shakespeare in 2022. Dr. Helou is also a translator; a dramaturg; and a performing artist whose background spans early music, theater, and opera. Ariane was a company member of the Santa Cruz Shakespeare festival from 2012 to 2020, and has also served as dramaturg for productions at The Jewel Theatre in Santa Cruz, Rogue Machine Theatre in Los Angeles, LA Opera, and Long Beach Opera. She is Associate Artistic Producer of the choral ensemble Artes Vocales and Dramaturg/Producer of the Los Angeles-based theater company Collaborative Artists Bloc.


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