Tarquinia Molza

Tarquinia Molza

Tarquinia Molza (November 1 1542August 8 1617) was an Italian singer and poet. She was considered a great virtuosa and many artistic works were dedicated to her; Francesco Patrizi wrote about her singing in his treatise L'amorosa filosofia, and she was perhaps the first singer to have a published biography dedicated to her (Opuscoli inediti di Tarquinia Molza modenese by D. Vandelli). She was involved with the famous Concerto delle donne, although whether she sang with them or coached them is not clear. She also played the viola bastarda.

Molza was born in Modena, the granddaughter or niece of the poet Francesco Maria Molza. She married Paolo Porrino in 1560 and was widowed by 1579. By 1583 she was living in Ferrara in the official capacity of lady-in-waiting to Duchess Margherita Gonzaga d'Este. Molza was dismissed from her position in 1589 because of her affair with Mantuan composer Giaches de Wert, and returned to Mantua. The unacceptability of the affair apparently had more to do with class than with sexual peccadillos—members of the minor nobility (as ladies-in-waiting to the duchess were considered) were not to involve themselves with members of the servant class (as minor composers such as Wert were considered).

References

  • Anthony Newcomb. "Tarquinia Molza", Grove Music Online, ed. L. Macy (accessed May 20 2006), grovemusic.com (subscription access).
  • Owen Jander, Elizabeth Forbes, Stanley Sadie, J.B. Steane, Ellen T. Harris (with Gerald Waldman). "Soprano:History to c. 1600", Grove Music Online, ed. L. Macy (accessed May 20 2006), grovemusic.com (subscription access).
  • Iain Fenlon. "Giaches de Wert", Grove Music Online, ed. L. Macy (accessed May 20 2006), grovemusic.com (subscription access).
  • Riley, Joanne. "Tarquinia Molza (1542 - 1617): A Case Study of Women, Music and Society in the Renaissance," in The Musical Woman, Volume II, pp. 470 - 493, ed. J. Lang Zaimont.
  • Stevenson, Jane. Women Latin Poets (Oxford, 2005), 288-91.

Notes

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