'Strong Woman’ – A Rare Musical Drama on the Martyrdom of a Japanese Noblewoman

23 February 2018, 5.00 PM - 23 February 2018, 6.30 PM

Professor Yasmin Haskell (Bristol), and Dr Makoto Harris Takao (Berlin)

Recital Room, Victoria Rooms

This year, for its Donors Celebration, the Institute of Greece, Rome, and the Classical Tradition has teamed up with the University’s Madrigal and Baroque Ensembles to present a rare concert performance of Mulier Fortis, or ‘Strong Woman’. This musical drama, first produced in 1698 by Viennese Jesuit Johann Baptist Adolph and composer Johann Bernhardt Staudt, celebrates the martyrdom of a Japanese noblewoman who converted to Christianity in the 16th century.

Ethnomusicologist and baroque musician, Dr Makoto Harris Takao (Berlin), along with Professor Yasmin Haskell (Institute Director), will provide a short introduction to this fascinating piece, which portrays the collision between Christian values and Japanese tradition in a Classical context. The Ensembles will then perform extracts from Mulier Fortis using period instruments to capture the drama’s personified emotions, which, like the chorus in Greek tragedy, act as a symbolic commentary on the action.

All are welcome at this free event. Booking required via Eventbrite.

Since its debut for the Holy Roman Empress, Eleonor Magdalene, and her husband, Leopold I, Mulier Fortis has only been performed rarely; in Tokyo, Cambridge, and Perth, Australia. Our celebration provides a unique opportunity to experience this exciting drama and meet the scholars and performers who have brought it to life.

The concert will be followed by a drinks reception.

‘Gracia’ Tama Hosokawa depicted as a devoted convert in a set of Uta-Garuta cards, 1937

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