‘delivered or performed in a style suggestive of speech – used as a direction in music’

In 2022, we introduced  Parlando, a new literary component to the  Incontri in Terra di Siena season to  complement the long-established musical programme. Each year, a writer will be invited to be ‘in residence’ during the festival period, attend the concerts, enjoy exchanges with the invited artists, interact with our audience members, participate in an Oltre la Musica event, and generally absorb the festival atmosphere. This residency will enrich our ‘Oltre la Musica’ offerings in the context of a historically literary landscape, vivdly brought to life through the writings of Iris Origo.

Authors will then be invited to write a piece for Parlando which could be an article, a journal, an essay, poetry, commentaries, or any other offerings of their choice; the only requirement is that it should have a connection to music. The piece will be published on the Parlando page of our website, and it will also be available in print during the following year’s festival period as part of a new compendium or digest. 

We were therefore very honoured to have hosted the internationally-acclaimed author Louis de Bernières as our very first  Parlando author-in-residence during the 2022 festival. 

6pm Church of Sant’Andrea, Castiglioncello del Trinoro
PARLANDO: Meet our author-in-residence Joseph O’Connor in conversation with journalist Eleanor Wachtel (in English) 

Joseph O’Connor’s fiction is published in 40 languages. In Italian, his longtime publisher is Ugo Guanda Editore. His novel Star of the Sea has sold more than a million copies, was a Sunday Times number one bestseller for eleven weeks and was the highest selling literary novel of the year in the UK. Shadowplay won the An Post Irish Novel of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Costa Award in the UK.
        Other books include Cowboys and Indians (Whitbread Prize shortlist), Desperadoes, The Salesman, Inishowen, Redemption Falls, Ghost Light (Dublin One City One Book 2011), The Thrill of it All, two short story collections, several stage-plays and film scripts and six nonfiction volumes. A CD of his spoken word pieces for Irish radio, The Drivetime Diaries, reached number one in the Irish charts. He has given readings at many international venues including the Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican, London, the Pompidou Centre, Paris, and the Lincoln Centre, New York. In 2011, he was elected to Aosdána, the Irish body of artists deemed to have made an exceptional contribution to the arts.
        Awards for his work include the Prix Zepter for European Novel of the Year, France’s Prix Millepages, Italy’s Premio Acerbi, an American Library Association Award, the Nielsen Bookscan Golden Book Award, the Time Out magazine award, the Irish Post award for fiction, a Sunday Tribune Hennessy Hall of Fame Award, the 2022 American Ireland Funds AWB Vincent Literary Award, the Bram Stoker Gold Medal for Cultural Achievement and an honorary doctorate from the National University of Ireland.       
          His novel, My Father’s House, was published in January 2023 by Penguin Random House; its Italian translation La Casa di Mio Padre was published in February 2024 by Guanda. He is Frank McCourt Professor and Chair of Creative Writing at the University of Limerick. He has performed spoken word pieces with many musicians including The Chieftains, Camille O’Sullivan, Glen Hansard, Hollywood composer Brian Byrne and the orchestra of the Royal Irish Academy of Music. He has recently completed The Ghosts of Rome, a sequel to My Father’s House. A third volume of his projected Rome trilogy will follow in 2027.

ELEANOR WACHTEL has earned a reputation as one of the world’s best literary interviewers during her more than 30 years as host of Writers & Company on Canada’s CBC Radio. Five books of her interviews have been published, including Random Illuminations, which won the Independent Publisher Book Award; Original Minds, and most recently, The Best of Writers & Company.  She also co-founded and hosted Wachtel on the Arts, featuring conversations with composers, musicians, architects, filmmakers, artists. Wachtel has earned numerous accolades for her contributions to Canadian cultural life: nine honorary degrees and Officer of the Order of Canada.  This past year she chaired the jury of the UK’s International Booker Prize.