Camilla de Rossi, Romana
Camilla de Rossi, Romana was one of four women who composed oratorios in Vienna in the early 1700s. She likely had musical training on stringed instruments, as evidenced by the exploration of unique instrumental colors in her compositions. All of her oratorios were written for solo voices and orchestra, alternating throughout between recitatives and arias. Four of de Rossi’s oratorios, written for Holy Week and other church celebrations at the Imperial Chapel in Vienna under Emperor Joseph I, and one cantata, have survived. Her first oratorio, Santa Beatrice d'Este (1707), was commissioned by the Emperor and later performed in Perugia in 1712. Il Sacrifizio de Abramo was written for Holy Week in 1708 and employed a single reed woodwind, the chalumeau, for interesting effect. The following year she was both librettist and composer for Il figliuol prodigo (1709). Her last two known works are San Alessio (1710) and Fra dore e fileno, a cantata for 2 voices and strings. Even though she was extremely talented, de Rossi was likely never paid for her any of her work despite its importance and longevity.