Maria Juliana: The Four Seasons (1776)

In 1776, a notable series of musical activities took place in the Elisabethan convent in Prague. These activities were initiated by one occasion: the 50th anniversary of Maria Deodata, the convent’s mother superior. Maria Deodata apparently had a very positive relationship to music, considering that under her direction, both convent organs were funded and built, and the large number of music compositions dedicated to her. On November 24 1776, a musical “Operetto” was performed in honor of the mother superior, most probably written by Maria Juliana (1719-c.1800), the convent’s “Chor-Regentin”. 

Mirail de prez / Merit’s Mirror

Ensemble MOTUS HARMONICUS explores the lingua materna and women’s voices from history, reconstructing songs of the trobairitz (female troubadours). Centering on women’s song primarily from the 12th-13th century Occitania – an area containing parts of modern-day France, Italy, and Spain – this new program is a historical celebration of women’s speech, and of those remarkable figures whose names and voices did survive the ages. Lyrics by Azalais de Porcairagues, Lombarda, Clara d’Anduza, and others.

Morte i begli occhi

In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, a wave of new music attested to the increasing opportunities and autonomy available to talented female musicians, writers, artists, and composers in the secular world. This programme focuses on the genius and achievements of four remarkable composers– Francesca Caccini, Settimia Caccini, Leonora Orsina, and Barbara Strozzi—within the context of some of their contemporaries.