Photo: Ville Paul Paasimaa
Ospedales were Italian girls’ orphanages founded in the Middle Ages. By the end of the 17th century they had become major musical establishments, such as Vivaldi’s well-known Ospedale della Pietà. The music drama Laura Maddalena is about Venetian orphanages and tells the stories of three women living in different eras, brought to life by actress-harpsichordist Elina Mustonen in a work commissioned from composer Eero Hämeenniemi. His text and music explore the Venetian Baroque. Also flitting through the drama are such historical figures as composer-musician Maddalena Laura Lombardini Sirmen, and composers Barbara Strozzi and Giuseppe Tartini. The story of the emancipation of musical young women is a continuation of Elina Mustonen’s highly-acclaimed Her Infinite Variety, about Shakespeare, and Jouez!, about Molière, combining music and drama.