Bologna, 1662 - Bologna, 19 April 1708
Italian composer and painter.
Trained in singing, instrumental performance and painting, she composed at least four oratorios: Il martirio di S Colomba (1689), Li giochi di Sansone (1694) and L’Esterre (1695), all to librettos by Giacomo Antonio Bergamori, were for performance on major feast days at the Oratorio di S Filippo Neri; Cristo morto (1696), also set to a text by Bergamori, was performed on Good Friday at the oratory of the Arciconfraternita di S Maria della Morte.
Although Moratori’s scores do not survive, it is clear from the librettos that she would have had to compose recitatives, duets and arias in strophic and ABA form.
Each libretto highlights the contribution of feminine heroism to Catholic tradition: the virgin martyr S Colomba is supported in her endurance by her mother Teodosia; both Esther and Samson are likened in their strength of purpose to the Virgin (to whom the works are dedicated by the composer); and the Virgin and Mary Magdalene are the principal characters of Cristo morto, representing in their responses to Christ’s death fortitude and humility respectively.
Moratori married Tomaso Scanabecchi Monetta.
Her paintings, admired by contemporaries for their architectural conception and intelligence, can be seen in various churches in Bologna (S Stefano, S Giovanni in Monte and Madonna di Galliera) and Ferrara (S Domenico).
She is buried in Madonna di Galliera, Bologna, beneath her own painting of S.Tommaso.
M. Oretti: Notizie di professori del dissegno cioè pittori scultori ed architetti Bolognesi
A. Machiavelli: Delle donne bolognese illustri
Grove Music Online: www.oxfordmusiconline.com
Suzanne G. Cusick