Michael De Sapio

Michael De Sapio

About Michael De Sapio

Michael De Sapio is Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative. A writer and classical musician from Alexandria, Virginia, he attended The Catholic University of America and The Peabody Conservatory of Music. Mr. De Sapio's essays on music, religion, and cultural history have been featured in Fanfare, Touchstone, and Crisis, among other publications. He has also published a screenplay, The Incredible Life of Joey Coletta.

Beauty Ever Ancient, Ever New: Restoring Beauty to a Parish Church

By |2019-08-10T22:35:32-05:00August 10th, 2019|Categories: Architecture, Art, Beauty, Christianity, Culture, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors|

A thought occurs to me as I contemplate the architectural updating of our parish church, which will paradoxically make our church appear older and timeless: Although God doesn’t need beautiful things, he is infinitely deserving of them, and we need to make them—for the good of our souls. My parish church is undergoing an [...]

The Boston Classicists: America’s Pioneering Composers

By |2019-07-18T21:35:18-05:00July 18th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Michael De Sapio, Music, Senior Contributors|

Together, four men and one woman—the Boston Classicists—brought American music to a level of sophistication it had never had before. Not only did they become the most highly respected composers in America, but their music was also heard abroad to great applause. In her early years America had the reputation, at least among sophisticated [...]

The Importance of American Art

By |2019-07-09T16:45:20-05:00July 5th, 2019|Categories: Art, Beauty, Culture, History, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors|

The Patent Office now houses one of the most splendid collections of American painting and sculpture, housed in an impressive work of architecture. Our national character has never been solely about commerce and machinery; from the beginning we have made fine achievements in art and the imagination. “Among the Sierra Nevada, California,” by [...]

The Eucharist and the Imagination

By |2019-06-29T15:40:53-05:00June 29th, 2019|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Imagination, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors, Theology|

The Christian belief in the Eucharist stands as a universal expression of faith in a transcendent value that exists beyond human effort, to which we can nevertheless strive through faith. It would be hard to find anything in the history of civilization quite like this mystical belief that bound Christians together in communion for [...]

The Power of Francis Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites”

By |2019-06-20T11:09:44-05:00June 14th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Michael De Sapio, Music, Opera, Senior Contributors|

Francis Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites” is based on the true story of the Martyrs of Compiègne, a community of sixteen Carmelite nuns who were guillotined during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. Many hold it in high esteem as one of the twentieth century’s greatest operas. Francis Poulenc The Metropolitan Opera’s [...]

The Art of Tintoretto: Realism and Religion

By |2019-05-24T10:36:42-05:00May 24th, 2019|Categories: Art, Culture, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors|

Unlike modernists of more recent vintage, Venetian Renaissance master Tintoretto aimed at higher ideals than the projection of his ego. He ordered his talents to honoring the Classical and Christian civilization of which he was a part. Yet, where High Renaissance artists strove for classical serenity and poise, Tintoretto stupefied his contemporaries with grand displays of [...]

Stravinsky’s Other Rite of Spring: “Perséphone”

By |2019-05-11T09:23:26-05:00May 10th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Culture, Igor Stravinsky, Michael De Sapio, Music, Senior Contributors|

One of my favorite musical works about spring is by Igor Stravinsky, but it’s not the one you would expect—the wild and primal Rite of Spring. Rather it’s his stage piece Perséphone, set to words by the French poet André Gide and retelling through song, ballet, and spoken narration the Greek myth explaining the [...]

Easter Movies: “Hail Caesar!” and “Risen”

By |2019-04-19T22:19:29-05:00April 19th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Culture, Film|

Movie-watching may not be as common a pastime at Easter as on other holidays, but the Easter movie is a true genre—and an important one. The mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection lends itself to, perhaps even demands, pictorial realization like no other story. This was shown preeminently during the heyday of biblical epics [...]

Coming Home: Tradition and My Hometown

By |2019-04-07T21:01:24-05:00April 7th, 2019|Categories: History, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors, Tradition|

The beauty of one’s home, neighborhood, and community is easy to forget, especially in an age as transient and rootless as ours. Yet, it’s in the quiet moments or on a historic occasion in your hometown that you are pulled back to consider the things that surround you. “Coming home” is an important process [...]

Paul Hindemith’s “Life of Mary”

By |2019-04-01T11:25:30-05:00March 30th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Michael De Sapio, Music, Senior Contributors|

Despite all its intellectual rigor, Paul Hindemith’s Life of Mary is a very approachable piece of twentieth-century vocal music. I can think of no other work that treats the totality of Mary’s life, including episodes that even the most devout rarely think about. A giant among 20th-century composers, Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) went from an [...]

The Explorer and the Cardinal: Two Views on Silence

By |2019-03-02T15:29:17-05:00March 2nd, 2019|Categories: Books, Christian Living, Happiness, Michael De Sapio, Modernity, Senior Contributors, Wisdom|

Solitude takes us out to deep and spacious waters where we see that silence is one of our greatest gifts and blessings, in which we discover not only ourselves but God as well. It’s striking the number of books coming out recently on the subject of silence; it must be a felt need in [...]

The Myth of Modernism

By |2019-02-26T14:40:40-05:00February 13th, 2019|Categories: Art, Beauty, Culture, Culture War, Michael De Sapio, Modernity, Music, Senior Contributors, Tradition, Western Civilization|

“Should not the unswerving modernists… come to the realization that there is nothing more wearisome or more barren than the most antiquated of all manias: the rage to be modern?” Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) In my visits to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, I generally sidestep the East Building, the portion devoted to [...]

Is Specialization Killing Culture?

By |2019-07-03T13:39:39-05:00January 25th, 2019|Categories: Beauty, Civilization, Community, Culture, Michael De Sapio, Modernity, Permanent Things, Senior Contributors, The Imaginative Conservative, Truth, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

If culture is simply a matter of private enthusiasms and hobbies, of small details and specialties, then what of a common culture? What about the collective project and shared sense of purpose that built Western civilization? “The expert takes a little subject for his province, and remains a provincial for the rest of his [...]