Secret Carnivals

Musica Secreta and Celestial Sirens

Music by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Cristobal Morales, Tomas Luis de Victoria, Paulo Isnardi, Marcantonio Ingegneri and Suor Leonora d’Este

picture by robert piwko /

Join Musica Secreta and Celestial Sirens to bring in the May with chant, polyphony and song. Mirroring the May Carnival (Calendimaggio) outside the convent walls, sixteenth-century Italian nuns had music for devotion, community and play. Secret Carnivals breathes new life into the forgotten music of Renaissance convents, beginning with daybreak at Lauds and ending the festivities with a candlelit dance into Matins.

Benedictus (Canticle of Zechariah) – Paolo Isnardi

Salve Regina – Marcantonio Ingegneri

Agnus Dei I and II, Missa Confitebor tibi – Palestrina

We are always proud to reveal more music written by and for Renaissance women. A special feature of this programme will be songs from a manuscript of convent comedies by an aristocratic nun, Suor Annalena Aldobrandini, and anonymous polyphonic works that may well have been written by a nun – Lucrezia Borgia’s daughter, Suor Leonora d’Este. The programme also features sections of a mass by Palestrina dedicated to nuns at the convent of Le Murate in Florence, and motets by Claudio Monteverdi’s maestro and teacher, Marcantonio Ingegneri.