Back to the future: in Seattle, all-female orchestra and chorus perform Vivaldi

Posted on: December 19, 2017

“Vivaldi taught music to girls and young women, off and on, between 1703 and 1740 at the Ospedale della Pieta—a convent, orphanage and music school in Venice,” writes Tom Keogh in last Tuesday’s (12/11) Seattle Times. “He originally wrote most of his influential Baroque compositions to be premiered by the all-female instrumentalists and singers under his superb instruction.… The only catch was that the chorus had to perform behind … screens, obscuring the women’s faces, per rules of the nunnery…. When Northwest Baroque Masterworks Project presents two concerts of ‘Venetian Women: Vivaldi’s “Gloria” and “Magnificat,” ’ performed by an all-female orchestra and chorus, no one will be concealed. The Masterworks Project—a partnership between Early Music Seattle (formerly Early Music Guild), Portland Baroque Orchestra, Early Music Vancouver, and Early Music Society of the Islands (Victoria)—has recruited talent from around the Pacific Northwest to form a 17-piece orchestra and 12-member chorus, augmented by the Seattle Girls Choir. The concertmaster and director for this rare opportunity … is Monica Huggett.… While there are reasons enough, musically and historically, to fill the stage with women for this concert, it’s impossible not to appreciate the event’s resonance with our cultural, social and political moment in America for women’s empowerment.”

Posted December 19, 2017