Seeking Antonia

a constructed opera on a hidden life


May 8, 10 and 11, 2019 at 7 p.m
UC San Diego Department of Music
Conrad Prebys Music Center Experimental Theater

Antonia Bembo (1640-1720) was a singer and composer whose remarkable life and work has been largely overlooked.  Born in Venice, her early talent as a singer brought her to the attention of the French aristocracy during her physician father's search for a position at court.  After her tragic marriage to a Venetian nobleman left her in ruin, she fled to Paris with a group of virtuoso musicians, to seek the patronage of Louis XIV.  She was offered protection in a Parisian cloister, and during her decades in residence there, produced a unique body of work for solo and multiple voices that was a direct reflection of music of the high Italian Baroque and  incorporated elements of the new galante style that was emerging in France. 

Despite the fact that Antonia Bembo regularly had her music played at court, and collaborated with some of the most distinguished artists of the day, including the poet Elisabeth Sophie Chéron, none of her works were published during her lifetime.  

Seeking Antonia is an hour-long performance that weaves together texts from family letters, inscriptions from musical manuscripts, and concert works for voice from  Bembo's compositions, including her Produzione Armoniche, and a piece for vocal quartet from one of her mature masterworks, The Seven Penitential Psalms

kallisti singers Kirsten Ashley Wiest, Hillary Jean Young, Jonathan Nussman, all candidates for the DMA at UC San Diego will be joined by four talented UCSD undergraduate vocalists:  Elizabeth Fisher, Julia Yu, Joseph Garcia, and Adrian Chan. 

kallisti artistic director,  Professor Susan Narucki, conceives and directs the project with  Kyle Adam Blair serving as music director. 


Join us for an exploration of vocal music of rare beauty and the celebration of a singular, remarkable life. 



kallisti    department of music     university of california  at  san diego


website copyright 2018  Susan Narucki