Isabella d’Este: First Lady of the Renaissance Starring Emma Kirkby as Isabella d’Este Featuring the Consort of Musick Anthony Rooley, Director Ellen Dryden, Narrator Produced and Directed by Eugene Enrico Script based of the research of William Prizer Joseph J. Friedman, Director of Photography James Yoch, Associate Producer David Smeal, Associate Director Costumes by Martha Ferrara Based on portraits of Isabella d’Este by Leonardo da Vinci, Titian and Rubens (Attached is a portrait of Isabella d’Este by Leonardo da Vinci.) NOLA Code: IDRL 000 K1 Feed: Sunday, September 15, 2002; 0900-1000ET /511 PRESS RELEASE American Public Television will present a special program on stations this fall. Isabella d’Este: First Lady of the Renaissance features the soprano Emma Kirkby as Isabella d’Este. American presidents and first ladies have long used their patronage of music and the other arts in ways advantageous both to their domestic politics and to foreign policy. Today in Washington, D.C., the Kennedy Center commemorates the patronage of Jack and Jackie. These “princes” of our democratic society have followed the venerable tradition of Italian princes during the Renaissance. According to Niccolo Machiavelli, the father of modern political science,”A prince must always show himself a lover of virtue and be quick to honor those who excel in the various arts” (The Prince, 1513). Isabella d’Este was the Jackie Kennedy of her time. Such great artists as Leonardo da Vinci, Titian and Rubens painted famous portraits of her. She was a personal friend of kings, popes and distinguished writers such as Machiavelli, Castiglione and Ariosto. She was eyewitness to the French invasion of Italy, the sack of Rome, the coronation of Emperor Charles V and numerous royal weddings. She was also a prolific letter writer: about 12,000 of her letters are still preserved at Mantua. This program tells her story in her own voice, based on her letters, and through her own eyes. Filmed in Italian palaces and monuments, this program illuminates the connections between the political posturing of Italian renaissance princes and their patronage of the arts, especially music. Isabella d’Este (1474-1539), daughter of the Duke of Ferrara, was known in her own time as “First Lady of the World.” She was particularly skillful in using her patronage of the arts to project an image of glamour, sophistication, liberality and magnanimity. In 1490, at the age of 16, she married the military hero, Francesco Gonzaga (1466-1519). The Gonzagas of Mantua also were brilliant in their use of the arts for political advantage. This program traces their patronage through two generations: those of Francesco and Isabella, and of their sons Federico (1500-1540), who became the first Duke of Mantua, and Cardinal Ercole (15051563), who almost became Pope. Original recordings of renaissance music were made in London. Emma Kirkby, the world’s most celebrated singer of early music, plays the role of Isabella. For 40 years, American Public Television (APT), located in Boston has been a major source of programming for the nation's public television stations. APT has more than 10,000 hours of available programming including Discovering the Real World of Harry Potter, Globe Trekker, Muhammad Ali: Through the Eyes of the World, Nightly Business Report, Rick Steves' Europe, Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, Ballykissangel, Brian Jacques' Redwall and The Three Tenors Christmas. APT is known for identifying innovative programs and developing creative distribution techniques for producers. In four decades, it has established a tradition of providing public television stations nationwide with program choices that enable them to strengthen and customize their schedules. Press should contact Donna Hardwick at 617-338-4455 ext. 129 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about APT's programs and services, log on to www.aptonline.org.