The 3MBS Dante Broadcast Festival is over! A good time was had by all despite the two live to air world premiere broadcasts being postponed for the inevitable reason.

Many thanks to the numerous 3MBS presenters who ably introduced a little or a lot of music inspired by Dante into their regular programs. Listeners enjoyed two world premiere opera recordings, excerpts from a contemporary oratorio using the soundtrack of the Apollo moon landing, a lot of art song, opera arias from Dido’s flock in Canto 5 of Hell, and a plethora of symphonic, tone poem and piano works.

Our London resident patron, Professor Leslie Howard AM, told us on Wednesday 15 September at 7pm, about the music Dante’s works inspired Liszt to write. Ric Ataide, the presenter, then played the Dante sonata Apres une lecture du Dante: sonata, quasi una fantasia followed by a selection of Professor Howard’s 160 piano CD discography.

Our Florentine resident patron, Dr Federico Bardazzi sent us a cheery hello on Thursday 16 September at 7pm during The Early Music Experience. He explained the recording project La Music nel Tempo di Dante created for Dante’s 750th commemoration of his birth. Mark Shepheard was his host and illustrated Dr Bardazzi’s greeting with some of the music from that landmark recording played by Ensemble San Felice, and other works contemporaneous to Dante’s life.

Don't forget you can still register for the postponed CO.AS.IT lecture series at where you can still listen to the streamed five-part documentary series Dante in Music. Past programs are also available to listen back to on

The latest episode of The Dante Detective discusses the Space-Time Continuum, a topic that Margot also touches on in her talk “Why care about Dante”. It gives one pause to consider that the lines between fiction, arts and science are so often blurred and in Dante’s day, these subjects were more closely aligned than we might consider them to be today. It’s fascinating to think that 5 copies of La Commedia will be jettisoned into space this October so while trying to find a bit more about it, I came across a clip of Italy’s first woman astronaut reading from La Commedia in space!

This is not the first time I’ve heard Dante quoted in ‘space’. This clip reminded me that Starfleet’s Captain Katheryn Janeway was a Dante fan and brings a copy of l’Inferno with her when she takes command of Starship Voyager in the year 2371. Incidentally, the book was given to her by her fiancé which has prompted many Sci-Fi fans to question how appropriate a book about Hell is as an engagement present! She has a copy of Vita Nuova onboard too. Dante is also frequently referenced in the Doctor Who series - most notably the Sixth Doctor has Dante’s business card in his collection of cards of geniuses. If you care to search the internet for “Dante and science”, there are dozens of entries: “Cosmological Innovation in Dante’s Divine comedy”, “The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace”, “Physics and Optics in Dante’s Divine Comedy”, “Dante, Einstein and the curvature of spacetime” etc. It turns out that not only is La Commedia held aloft as a great work of literature, but it is also esteemed as an early and notable work of Science Fiction and sits in the subcategory of “Cosmology”. Consequently, it turns out l’Inferno has been translated into Klingon! The title translates as Gre’thor, the Klingon word for Underworld. Here is my musical link, although not directly Dante related. It’s the Queen of the Night’s aria from The Magic Flute translated into Klingon. The title is “Gre’thor Mus MeQ” or “Queen of the Inferno” - Enjoy!

Click here to listen to a lecture on Einstein’s theories as

either background or follow up:

Also reported in the news last week, a publisher of art house books in Bologna has contracted with 5 space agencies to each send a copy of la Commedia into space in October. I can see some of you sending photos of your children and grandchildren in somebody’s payload in the not too distant future, giving a whole new meaning to the expression Family Space.

The Dante Detective Episode two:

Dante and the Unexpected Case of the Time/ Space Continuum

From Cantos 27, 28 Paradiso

Learn why Professor Mark Petersen, physicist, is grateful to Dante Alighieri for bringing the beauty of space to the general public through the power of poetry. Marvel at how Dante’s description of the Universe published 600 years before Einstein, resembles the revelations of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in many of its salient features.

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