Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 4pm

Virtual Concert Series + Happy Hour

The Divine Feminine: Centering Women of Color in Early Music

Featuring an all-women-of-color roster of artists

From the works of Cozzolani, Caccini, and Strozzi, to the texts of New World visionary Sor Juana de la Cruz, we’ll explore themes of femininity, culminating in a performance of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater

There is nothing like the power of strong female representation on the stage.

Named for the almighty creative force that brings all things into being, The Divine Feminine program is a triumphant celebration of womanly influence in the world.  This inaugural program presents a range of visionary female voices from the early repertoire with that most vaunted of female figures, Mary herself, as its bookends.

From the jubilant medieval setting Hail Mary, Full of Grace to Pergolesi’s grand masterpiece, the Stabat Mater, Mary is brought to life in her many nuances: in deepest love and profound grief; in anguish; in hopefulness, in sensuality, and in the foundational joy of creation. Among the featured composers are Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, Barbara Strozzi, Francesca Caccini, and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. From sacred to secular and back again, this program honors the strength and grace of these masterful historic composers as presented by living masters of their craft: brilliant women of color, every one.

The Open Gates Project is a concert series dedicated to creating greater access to stages for musicians of color in Early Music. It simultaneously seeks to create greater access to Early Music for underserved communities. We want to see increased diversity on the stage AND in the audience.

Roster of Artists – Click To Open

Roster of artists:

Nicole Besa ~ soprano
Aine Hakamatsuka ~ soprano
Heather Hill ~ soprano
Amaranta Viera ~ soprano
Tanisha Anderson ~ mezzo-soprano
Guadalupe Peraza ~ mezzo-soprano
AnnMarie Sandy ~ mezzo-soprano
Hai-Ting Chinn ~ alto

Jessica Park ~ violin
Maria Romero Ramos ~ violin
Amelia Sie ~ violin
Patricia Ann Neely ~ viola da gamba
Duangkamon “Wan” Wattanasak ~ harpsichord

Biographies – Click To Open

Tanisha Anderson is a two-time Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano and National Marian Anderson Scholar Artist who has sung all along the east coast and in Europe with companies including but not limited to The Crossing, Opera Philadelphia, The Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds, VoxAma Deus Ensemble, and Philadelphia Symphonic Choir.

Praised for her “metallic voice,” Soprano Nicole Besa is winner of the 2021 Franc d’Ambrosio Talent Search and 2020 Musician’s Club of Women Farwell Award. 2021 highlights: Königin der Nacht (Die Zauberflöte), Christine (Phantom of the Opera), Morgana (Alcina), Maria (Maria La Ó), Cunegonde (Candide!), Maria (West Side Story), Carla (NBC’s Chicago Fire).

Mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn performs in a wide range of styles and venues, from Purcell to Pierrot Lunaire, Cherubino to The King & I, J.S. Bach to P.D.Q. Bach. She has performed with New York City Opera, The Wooster Group, Philip Glass/Robert Wilson, OperaOmnia, American Symphony Orchestra; on the stages of Carnegie Hall, the Mann Center in Philadelphia, and London’s West End; and at Festivals including the Edinburgh, Verbier, Grimeborn, Tête-à-Tête, and Festival d’Autumne. Of mixed Chinese and Jewish ancestry, Hai-Ting is a native of Northern California and currently resides in New York City. She holds degrees from the Eastman and Yale Schools of Music.

Japanese soprano Aine Hakamatsuka is the winner of the 2013 Yokohama International Music Competition. As a soloist, she appeared in Paukenmesse (Haydn), Magnificat (Schubert), Requiem (Faure), 9th Symphony(Beethoven), Cantata No. 51 (Bach), and Gloria (Vivaldi). She has performed in venues including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Kennedy Center.

Heather Hill‘s career encompasses work in opera, concert, Broadway and voiceovers. Performances include Knoxville, Summer of 1915, by Barber with York Orchestra, The Phantom of the Opera, Broadway company and Carmina Burana at Carnegie Hall. Heather loves early music and is thrilled to perform with the Open Gates Project. @msheatherhill

Patricia Ann Neely is an early bowed string player and music teacher. She holds a BA in music from Vassar College and an MFA in Historical Performance from Sarah Lawrence College. She has performed with many early music ensembles including Sequentia, Tempesta di Mare, Washington Bach Consort, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Rheinische Kantorei Köln, among others. She is currently director of Abendmusik – New York’s early music string band. Patricia has been a member of the Board and Chair of the Equity and Diversity Task Force of the Board of Early Music America and is currently on the Board of the Viola da Gamba Society of America and Chair of its Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee. She teaches at many early music workshops and was a long-time member of the music faculty at The Brearley School, in New York City.

Praised as an “exceptional talent” by the Frankfurter Neue Presse, violinist Jessica Park is in high demand as an interpreter of Baroque and Classical repertoire. She can be heard performing with the country’s premier period instrument ensembles including The Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, and The American Classical Orchestra, among others. Her duo with fortepianist Ji-Young Kim was recently featured at the Boston Early Music Festival, and in 2017 Jessica founded the Cramer Quartet, a period-instrument string quartet.

Mexican mezzo-soprano Guadalupe Peraza has been a featured performer across the Americas and Europe. She has sung at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center and performed with New York City Opera and Bard Summerscape. Guadalupe will be a featured soloist with American Classical Orchestra in February 2022. “When Peraza sang one could momentarily forget the troubles of the world… [She exhibits] appealingly pure, direct storytelling. Peraza was unfailingly engaging and fully connected to the text”. – Opera News

Nashville-based violinist Maria Romero Ramos is concertmaster of Music City Baroque. Maria has collaborated with Atlanta Baroque, Les Délices, and Orchester Wiener Akademie, among others, and has performed at Valley of the Moon Music Festival, Boston and Bloomington Early Music Festivals. She has appeared as soloist with the Princeton Festival, Mountainside, and Indianapolis Baroque Orchestras. Maria holds a doctorate from Indiana University and is on the faculty at Vanderbilt University, where she teaches modern and baroque violin.

AnnMarie Sandy, mezzo-soprano, is garnering praise for operatic, concert, and recorded work. She is featured on New World Records recording of Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha. In 2007 she made her Lincoln Center debut performing the alto solo in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and made her 2013 Carnegie Hall debut singing the role Ursula in the Strauss opera Feuersnot. AnnMarie features on Voices Fall from the Sky, an album of renowned free jazz bassist William Parker. The magazine PopMatters, describes AnnMarie as: “stretching her operatic range to sing notes of freedom, healing, and peace.” She grew up in Houston, Texas and is based in Brooklyn, New York.

Based in New York City, Amelia Sie is a virtuosic and adventurous performer of modern and Baroque violin. She received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Violin Performance from New England Conservatory, where she studied with Paul Biss, Miriam Fried, and Soovin Kim. She is currently a student at The Juilliard School, where she is pursuing a Master’s degree in Historical Performance.

“Excellent” (Greenwich Sentinel) Cuban-American soprano Amaranta Viera performs in the Unites States and abroad with ensembles ranging from the Choir of Trinity Wall Street to The New York Philharmonic in repertoire spanning a millennium. She specializes in music of the German and Italian early Baroque, and is passionate about engaging modern audiences with old music through the exploration of shared social and historical threads. She lives in Queens, New York with her husband and son.

Duangkamon “Wan” Wattanasak, a native of Thailand, currently pursues a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in harpsichord performance at Stony Brook University. A recipient of numerous awards in recognition of her musical and academic excellence, Wan enjoys a varied career performing across the United States and abroad, sharing her historical research at symposiums and workshops, teaching lessons and community classes, and directing diverse vocal and instrumental ensembles.

Our Esteemed Funders – Click To Open

This program is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. For a full list of our funders, visit

Event Details

  • Location

    Pregones Theater
    575 Walton Avenue
    The Bronx

  • Date & Time

    November 14, 2021 at 4PM

  • Presented by

    Gotham Early Music Scene