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Cantigas de Santa Maria: Saturday, Dec 25 at 9 am CT

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Las Cantigas de Santa Maria explores the songs and poems dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is produced by Debra Bolton, former program director of HPPR. The musical journey focuses on the reign of King Alfonso X of 13th-century Castile-Leon, now Spain. Alfonso "The Wise" wrote more than 420 songs for performance in his court and across his kingdom, in order to teach morality and "secure his place in the kingdom of heaven."

Bolton says she became interested in King Alfonso when she learned that he was a pluralist, honoring Christians, Jewish and Muslim on equitable footings because he was more interested in studying and learning from great thinkers than practicing exclusions of certain peoples living in his kingdom.

"At its core, this show is a musical biography of King Alfonso X," Bolton said. "One can infer what points of concern that the good king was facing based on the stories of the musical poems."

Bolton also posts her narrative, playlist, and photos on her blog.