Today, most Christians understand that there is a hugely important role for music in Christian worship and in many aspects of Christian witness and prayer. This is balanced, of course, by an equally important place for silence and contemplation. All our senses are given by God for his worship and in our Chaplaincy you will find that we try to create many different opportunities that reflect this very human balance.
But it is also important that people can enjoy and appreciate such truly spiritual beauty without religious obligations. At St Mark’s we want people to share our joy as a whole community – whatever our different backgrounds – and to create neutral space in which to meet others and to build that community spirit. Music is a unique way of achieving this goal. It means that a large amount of the music that is enjoyed in St Mark’s has very little to do with worship or church.
St Mark’s Music Scene
Set within a European capital of art and culture, it is not surprising that St Mark’s Florence has a very big music scene. Its history has been intimately shaped by the desire to express worship in a creative and artistic manner, and by those involved in it. But we are constantly striving to enhance opportunities for more and wider engagement.
Our Cultural Programme enables our church building to be an ideal setting for many diverse forms of musical endeavour, from early vocal or instrumental church music, to fine operatic or orchestral performances. The beauty, intimacy and flexibility of the facilities at Via Maggio 16 (not just the Church space, but also other Public rooms) is something that creates a unique atmosphere for both performers and audience/congregation.
Please see our Table of Fees and Donations for further information.
There are currently two choirs associated with St Mark’s Florence. There is a Mass Choir which sings for our normal Sunday worship and major Festivals, and also St Mark’s Cantorum, a concert choir who give regular performances in our Cultural Programme. There are also opportunities for these groups to join forces to perform bigger works, such as combined choral/liturgical performance of William Byrd’s Four-Part Mass setting with harpsichord. We hope to follow the success of this event with other famous Mass Settings from around the World.
You may only be staying in Florence for a short time, but if you are someone who enjoys singing and being a part of a group of people who enjoy working together for a concert performance or a special event, then please get in touch with our Choirmaster.
St Mark’s Opera
St Mark’s Opera is now in its Eleventh, consistently and highly-acclaimed, Season of performances at St Mark’s Florence. It continues to delight audiences from the City and around the World and allows the audience to be an intimate part of the unfolding story. If you have not experienced opera at St Mark’s, you really haven’t (in its purist sense) experienced opera at all. Children are welcomed free of charge and there are other concessions. The company are able to convey a love for this form of dramatic and often very moving story-telling that is simply not found anywhere else.
We are also an important venue for Firenze Lirica, a well-established Florentine society for the promotion of operatic performance and study. Please see our calendar for their lectures, events and performances.
There are enviable and extensive musical resources at St Mark’s Florence for all your wedding needs. In terms of music, if you have heard a piece of music, a song or an arrangement that speaks to you as a couple, (from any era, old or new), then it can be performed live in St Mark’s. For further details, please see our wedding page.
Concerts and Venue Requests
Many groups of singers or performers enjoy the central location of St Mark’s to have a well-attended concert in Florence. We really want to encourage visiting choirs or orchestras to do so. If you would like to know more about our facilities and opportunities in our calendar, then please get in touch with the Choirmaster, who can discuss your needs. Thank you.
Our Cultural Programme and church activities provide many rewarding opportunities for short or long-term internships. These range from performance to publicity, from accounting to photography. If you would like to know more, then please get in touch with our Administrator. It may be that you can join our Team here, and for funded placements, there is also the option of accommodation in one of our apartments on site.