Skip to main content

Madonna Bellina, ‘astounding’ Jewish musician in mid-sixteenth-century Venice

Buy Article:

$51.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract:

Jewish female musicians were a rarity in the sixteenth century, let alone later times. All the more interest attaches to the description of Madonna Bellina, in an ardent ‘love letter’ that the renowned Venetian playwright and satirist Andrea Calmo wrote to her (in Venetian) around 1550, as a Jewess who ‘astounded her listeners’ (meraveiar i auditori) by her singing and playing. As the only known document about her, the letter deserves closer investigation to establish as much as one can of her person (age, appearance, character) and musical talents; to gauge the attitude of its author toward singing or playing Jewesses and, more generally, toward Judaism; and to probe the question whether Madonna Bellina was real or a figment of his imagination. The study concludes with an appendix, in which Calmo's letter to Bellina is transcribed in the original and translated.

Keywords: Andrea Calmo; Jewish female musicians (singers, instrumentalists); Judaism vs. Christianity; Madonna Bellina; love letters

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1477-4658.2007.00467.x

Affiliations: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Publication date: February 1, 2008

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Partial Open Access Content
Partial Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more