WOMEN
OF THE PIETÀ

CONCERT

BY ANTONIO VIVALDI

CITY RECITAL HALL, SYDNEY
SAT 10 SEPT 2PM | SUN 11 SEPT 5PM
MELBOURNE RECITAL CENTRE
THU 15 SEPT 7PM | FRI 16 SEPT 7PM
WOMEN OF THE PIETÀ  BY ANTONIO VIVALDI

An unmissable concert event, featuring star soprano Miriam Allan.

An unmissable concert experience featuring a crack ensemble of singers and players to re-create the splendour and sound of the music performed by the women and girls at Vivaldi’s Ospedale della Pietà, the renowned home for orphaned girls in Venice where Vivaldi was master of the violin.

This sublime program, showcasing music by Vivaldi and others, features one of Pinchgut’s dearest friends: longtime audience favourite, soprano Miriam Allan, who most recently drew international acclaim after her stellar performance at Prince Phillip’s funeral in London in 2021.

Miriam will be joined by a glorious chorus of twelve women and an ensemble of expert orchestral players featuring the female talent of the Orchestra of the Antipodes. Be transported to Vivaldi’s Venice by the stunning sounds of the world’s best Baroque specialists, led by Erin Helyard. Don’t miss this extraordinary and unique concert event that celebrates Vivaldi’s timeless beauty.

PROGRAM

Women of the Pietà by Antonio Vivaldi

Sung in Italian with English surtitles

Running time 2 hours including interval
Tickets $59 - $163
Under 30s $55

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ANTONIO VIVALDI

(1678 - 1741)

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi was born at home on 4 March 1678, the first child for Camilla Calicchio and Giovanni Baptiste Vivaldi. Their newborn was so weak at birth that the midwife feared for his life, and quickly had him baptised. He would be joined by at least five siblings. Young Antonio wasn’t a child prodigy. But he did work hard. His father, a barber, baker, and violinist, was his first music teacher. The two enjoyed playing alongside each other in a city where music was part of society’s rich fabric. We don’t know a huge amount about his early years, but Vivaldi probably came under the influence of Archangelo Corelli, and in turn influenced his contemporaries, amongst them his ‘distance-education’ student, Johann Sebastian Bach. The capital of the Republic of Venice at that time saw musical activity in the streets, churches, and private homes of its citizens. Tradesmen would often sing together in complex harmonies as they went about their day’s work. Concerts happened all the time and everywhere. And church was where you could hear the newest music from leading composers of the day.

There are a couple of theories around Vivaldi’s dedication to the priesthood. One version suggests that the trauma of his birth, amidst an earthquake in Venice, and his poor health from infancy led his mother to ‘promise’ him to the service of God. Another – perhaps more plausible – theory is that his father, wishing a career in music for his son, recognised the respect and protection a priesthood would offer his son, and the access he might gain from taking the cloth. Whichever parent’s version resonates for you, the happy outcome was that Vivaldi was ordained in 1703, at the age of 25, and soon after took up a position as Master of Violin at the Ospedale della Pietà. This was a public institution that took in orphans – mostly girls – and gave them an exceptional musical training and general education. Vivaldi would work at the Piet for some 37 years, whipping his young charges into an orchestra considered one of the finest in all of Europe. His most famous work, The Four Seasons may well be his most famous piece, but Vivaldi wrote more than 500 other concertos for other instruments including mandolin, cello, flute, viola d'amore, recorder, and lute. He also wrote some sublimely complex vocal music, including oratorios and cantatas, for which the girls would sing every voice part: soprano, alto, tenor and bass.

Pinchgut Opera acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the first story-tellers and singers of songs. We pay our respects to elders past, present, and emerging. 
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