Arian | nairA – Looking for Caterina

A musical-theatrical adaptation of the life story of Caterina Martinelli, singer and muse of Claudio Monteverdi.

The play sets out in search of this extraordinary young woman, behind the historical sources and behind the one monumental event in her life:
her early death.

The inscription on Caterina’s gravestone

“Look, read, weep! Catterina Martinella of Rome, who with the sound and richness of her voice easily surpassed the song of the sirens and the spherical sounds of heaven, esteemed above all things by His Serene Highness Duke Vincenzo of Mantua, for the natural grace of her demeanor, her beauty, her dignity and her charm. Snatched away, alas, by bitter death, she rests for all eternity in this tomb, commissioned by a generous prince who still mourns this stroke of fate. Let her name live on on earth and her soul with God. She died in the 19th year of her youth, on March 9, 1608.”

Source: Carlo d’ Arco: Iscrizioni che furono o sono in Mantova e nel Mantovano, ASM Archivio d’Arco, MSS228-9, vol. I, p. 276, no. 34

"Inspice, lege, defle! Catterina Martinella romana, quae vocis modulatione et flexu Sirenum cantus facile orbicumque [sic] caelestium melos praecellebat, insigni ea virtute morum suavitate, forma, lepore, ac venustate Ser. Vinc. Duci Mant. ap[p]rime chara, acerba heu morte sublata hoc tumulo beneficentiss. principis jussu, repentino adhuc casu moerentis aeternum quiescit. Nomen mundo, deo vivat anima. Obiit adolescentiae anno XVIII die IX Martij MDCVIII."

Quelle: Carlo d’ Arco: Iscrizioni che furono o sono in Mantova e nel Mantovano, ASM Archivio d’Arco, MSS228-9, vol. I, p. 276, no. 34

Photos: Oren Kirschenbaum


ClaudioMonteverdi (1567-1643):

«Sestina. Lagrime d’amante al sepolcro dell’amata» aus Il sesto libro de madrigali (1614)
«Lamento d’Arianna » aus Il sesto libro de madrigali (1614)
«Io mi son Giovinetta» aus Il quarto libro de madrigali (1603)
«Damigella tutta bella» aus Scherzi musicali a tre voci (1607)

Marco da Gagliano (1582-1643):

«Chi da lacci d’amor» aus der Oper La Dafne (1608)

Giovanna Baviera (*1988):

«Variationen für Gambe» über Il ballo diMantova (2019)

Orí Harmelin (*1981):

«Variationen für Theorbe» über La Monaca (2019)

Lukas Huber (*1990):

«Il Lamento di Caterina» (2023/2024)

For organizers

  • Program text
  • Complete program
  • Technical details
  • Biographies

Press commentaries

“The seven singers of ‘Voces Suaves’ sing everything in flawless vocal ensemble sound culture at its finest, as we have known it from them for a long time, and as it can obviously be realized in an environment in which scenic requirements demand their attention.”

– Music & Theater, February 2024, Reinmar Wagner

“This is very touching music and Voces Suaves perform it really convincingly.” “His [Lukas Huber's] music fits really well into the sound world of the Renaissance pieces.” “Above all, I can tell that the musicians are fascinated by Caterina [Martinelli], and that really got through to me.”

– Radio SRF2Kultur, 02.02.24, discussion by Patricia Moreno with Elisabeth v. Kalnein


Viola da Gamba

Stage Direction
Assistant Director
Stage Management
Film production

Lia Andres, Christina Boner
Jan Thomer
Dan Dunkelblum, Andrés Montilla Acurero
Tobias Wicky
Joachim Höchbauer
Giovanna Baviera
Orí Harmelin
Vera Schnider

Lukas Huber
Deda Cristina Colonna
Aurore Gontard
Tumasch Clalüna
Michael Kleine/Lisa Fütterer
Michael Kleine
Mario Henkel
Oren Kirschenbaum

Questions about the program or bookings?

1 + 1 =