The Australian Chamber Choir’s latest musical offering – Agatha in Vivaldi’s Venice – is a feast of choral music stretching over two centuries from the mid-1500s to the mid-1700s.

Saturday’s opening concert was held in St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Hamilton, dovetailing with the Hamilton Gallery’s highly successful exhibition Emerging from Darkness: Faith, Emotion and the Body in the Baroque. Concert-goers were invited to attend a pre-concert gallery tour for a potted history of baroque art in Europe and the role of women – restricted though it was – in baroque.

Australian Chamber Choir performs Agatha in Vivaldi’s Venice at St Andrew’s, Hamilton. Photo © Elizabeth Quinn

In spite of the patriarchal influence of the Catholic Church and the legal restraints imposed on women artists and composers, the legacy of female painters such as Artemisia Gentileschi endures to this day. Less well-known, but central to the ACC’s concert program, was the music of little-known baroque composer Agatha della Pièta. Left as a baby at a Venetian orphanage, she went on to perform and compose music under the tutelage of Antonio Vivaldi, then the music master at the Ospedale della Pièta in which...