Since it was founded in 1997, the Prague ensemble Collegium Marianum has focused on presenting the music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, especially by composers who were born or active in central Europe. One of the few professional ensembles specializing in this field in the Czech Republic, Collegium Marianum not only gives musical performances, but regularly also stages scenic projects.
The ensemble works under the artistic leadership of the traverso player Jana Semerádová who also regularly appears as a soloist with some of the eminent European orchestras. Her active research together with her study of Baroque gesture, declamation, and dance, has enabled Semerádová to broaden the profile of the Collegium Marianum ensemble and present multi-genre projects featuring Baroque dance and theater. Her unique, thematic programming has resulted in a number of modern-day premieres of historical music presented each year.
The ensemble has collaborated with renowned European conductors, soloists, directors, and choreographers such as Andrew Parrott, Hana Blažíková, Damien Guillon, Peter Kooij, Sergio Azzolini, François Fernandez, Simona Houda-Šaturová, Benjamin Lazar, Jean-Denis Monory, and Gudrun Skamletz.
The ensemble has also maintained long-term collaboration with the Buchty a loutky theater company. The result of this collaboration have been some highly original projects, including the puppet opera Calisto and Handel’s pastoral opera Acis and Galatea.
Collegium Marianum has received critical acclaim both at home and abroad. The ensemble has appeared extensively on the Czech Radio and TV as well as on the radio abroad.
It regularly performs at music festivals and on prestigious stages both in the Czech Republic and elsewhere in Europe, including Utrecht Oude Muziek Festival, Musikfestspiele Potsdam, Händel-Festspiele Halle, Tage Alter Musik Regensburg, Bachfest Leipzig, Festival de Sablé, Klang Vokal Dortmund, Palau Música Barcelona, Prague Spring, Svatováclavský hudební festival, and Concentus Moraviae.
In 2008 the ensemble started a successful collaboration with the Supraphon label. Within the “Music from Eighteenth-Century Prague” series it has launched eight recordings featuring music by well-known and lesser-known composers such as J. D. Zelenka, F. Jiránek, J. J. I. Brentner, and J. A. Sehling. The ensemble has also featured on the profile CD of the soprano Simona Houda-Šaturová, “Gloria,” and in a DVD recording of A. Caldara’s “Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo.”
In January 2010 Collegium Marianum was awarded with an honor for the credits of quality and for the general promotion of Czech music, presented by the International Music Council by UNESCO.
Since 2001 Collegium Marianum has presented the concert cycle Baroque Soirées. Thanks to its thematic programming and close interconnection with the historical spaces of Old Prague, the series is unique not only in the Czech, but also international context. Collegium Marianum is the ensemble in residence of the international music festival Summer Festivities of Early Music.
Flautist Jana Semerádová is a graduate of the Prague Conservatory, the Faculty of Philosophy, Charles University (Theory and Practice of Early Music), and the Royal Conservatory in the Hague, the Netherlands. She is also a laureate of the Magdeburg and Munich international competitions.
Jana Semerádová is the artistic director of Collegium Marianum and programming director of the concert cycle Baroque Soirées and the international music festival Summer Festivities of Early Music. She undertakes intensive archival research both at home and abroad and is engaged in ongoing study of Baroque gesture, declamation and dance. Many of her unique programmes are built around the interconnection of music and drama.
Under her direction, Collegium Marianum stages several modern premieres each year. Jana Semerádová has a number of CDs to her name; her recordings with Collegium Marianum are featured as part of the successful series “Music from Eighteenth-Century Prague” on the Supraphon label, for which she has also recorded her two signature CDs “Solo for the King” and “Chaconne for the Princess“.
Jana Semerádová has performed at leading European concert venues and festivals (such as Bachfest Leipzig, Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht, Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci, Innsbrucker Festwochen, Händel-Festspiele Halle, Centre de musique baroque de Versailles, Festival de Sablé, the Prague Spring festival, Tage Alter Musik Regensburg, the Konzerthaus in Vienna and Berlin, Vratislavia Cantans a Palau de la Música Catalana), collaborated as a soloist with artists including Magdalena Kožená, Sergio Azzolini, Alfredo Bernardini, and Enrico Onofri, and regularly performs with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Il suonar parlante, Wrocławska Orkiestra Barokowa, Orkiestra Historyczna and Ars Antiqua Austria.
In 2015 she received her habilitation degree as an associate professor of flute from the Faculty of Music and Dance at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. In 2019 she was awarded the prize of the Prague Group of the Society for Arts and Sciences. The Czech Music Academy Awards „Anděl“ in 2020 brought the nomination to Jana Semerádová and Erich Traxler (category Classics) for their CD Chaconne for the Princess.
Lenka Torgersen studied violin at the Pilsen Conservatory and subsequently at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague under Václav Snítil. After graduating in 1998 she focused intensively on Baroque violin and honed her skills from 1999 to 2003 at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis under the tutelage of Chiara Banchini.
From 1999 to 2012 she was concertmaster of Collegium 1704. Currently concertmaster of Collegium Marianum, she also works regularly with other Czech and international ensembles including La Cetra Barockorchester Basel, Ensemble 415, Freitagsakademie Bern, conSequenza, Ensemble Inégal, Les Traversées Baroques, Orchester der J. S. Bach-Stiftung St. Gallen and Ensemble Tourbillon. As a chamber musician and soloist she performs at major music festivals (such as the Prague Spring, Festival d’Ambronay, Festival de Sablé, Festival La Chaise-Dieu, MA Festival Brugge, Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht, Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik, Festival del Camino de Santiago and Festival Santander), and also collaborates with various leading figures in early music including Chiara Banchini, Gustav Leonhardt, René Jacobs, Andrea Marcon, Jordi Savall, Andrew Parrott and Attilio Cremonesi.
She has recorded for renowned international labels such as Harmonia Mundi, Accent, Zig-Zag Territoires and Pan Classics. In 2010 as a soloist with Collegium 1704 she recorded the instrumental works of Antonín Reichenauer, for which she received the Diapason d’Or award. In 2013 she recorded on the Supraphon label a solo CD entitled ‘‘Il Violino Boemo’’, a modern-day premiere reviving the sonatas of the 18th century Czech violin virtuosi František Benda, Josef Antonín Gurecký and František Jiránek. This recording also garnered enthusiastic reviews from both Czech and foreign critics.
Born in Prague, Hana Blažíková graduated from the Prague Conservatory in the class of Jiří Kotouč in 2002, and later undertook further study with Poppy Holden, Peter Kooij, Monika Mauch, and Howard Crook.
Currently Hana Blažíková specializes in the interpretation of Baroque, Renaissance, and medieval repertoires, and sings with ensembles and orchestras around the world, including Collegium Vocale Gent, Bach Collegium Japan, Sette Voci, Gli Angeli Genève, La Fenice, Tafelmusik, Collegium 1704, Collegium Marianum, Musica Florea, and others.
Hana Blažíková has performed at many international festivals, such as Prague Spring, Oude Muziek Utrecht, Resonanzen (Vienna), Tage Alter Musik (Regensburg), Festival de Sablé, Festival de La Chaise-Dieu, Festival de Saintes, and Arts festival Hong Kong.
In 2010 she took part in a highly acclaimed tour with Bach’s St Matthew Passion conducted by Philippe Herreweghe. In 2011 she made her debut in Carnegie Hall with Masaaki Suzuki’s Bach Collegium Japan, and performed the St John Passion with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Hana appears on more than 20 CDs, including the well-known edition of Bach’s complete cantatas with Bach Collegium Japan.
Hana Blažíková also plays gothic harp and presents concerts in which she accompanies herself on this instrument; she is a member of Tiburtina Ensemble, which specializes in Gregorian chant and early medieval polyphony.
Slovak by origin, the soprano Patricia Janečková, grew up in Ostrava where she has studied solo voice at the Janáček Conservatory and the Ostrava University, both in the class of Eva Dřízgová-Jirušová. In 2014, at the age of sixteen, she became the absolute winner of the Concorso Internazionale Musica Sacra in Rome. She thus became a scholarship holder for the summer vocal academy in the Italian Arezzo the following year (European Theatre, Vocal and Dance Academy) where she studied under the guidance of Renato Bruson, the legendary baritone of La Scala Milano. In 2016 she received three awards from the International Vocal Competition of Antonín Dvořák in Karlovy Vary. In 2010, aged twelve, she became the absolute winner of the Czecho-Slovak Talentmania TV competition.
Patricia has appeared in a number of gala performances in the Czech Republic and abroad, including the Starry Night in Vienna, Junge Talente der Klassik in Klosterneuburg, Austria, the International Music Festival of Peter Dvorský in Jaroměřice nad Rokytnou, Festival Terras Sem Sombra in Grândola, Portugal, Les musicales de Louvergny in France, Smetana’s Litomyšl, Talentinum in Zlín, International Music Festival Český Krumlov, Janáček May Ostrava, the Lednice-Valtice Music Festival, and Concentus Moraviae.
Patricia Janečková has had the opportunity to sing with, for example, Peter Dvorský, Adam Plachetka (with whom she recorded a duet from Mozart’s The Magic Flute on her first CD in 2011), with Štefan Kocán, Roman Janál, Peter Berger, and Eva Dřízgová-Jirušová.
In 2015 she made her debut on two operatic stages in Slovakia: State Theatre Košice in Le Nozze di Figaro as Barbarina and the Slovak National Theatre in The Magic Flute as Pamina. As a soloist she often collaborates with a number of Czech and Slovak orchestras, such as the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava, Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Zlín, Janáček Chamber Orchestra, or Camerata Janáček.
She has also maintained a collaboration of many years with the National Moravian-Silesian Theatre; as a soloist she has appeared on its stage in Britten’s children’s opera Chimney Sweeper, in the Kytice music and dramatic project, and most recently in the musical Romeo and Juliet and in the role of Esmeralda in Smetana’s The Bartered Bride. Since 2017, she has been collaborating with Collegium Marianum.
Started to study solo singing privately while studying University of Technology in Brno. Since 2008 he’s cooperating with leading ensembles of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music in Czech republic and in other european countries. These ensembles include Collegium Marianum (Jana Semerádová), Cappella Mariana (Vojtěch Semerád), Collegium 1704 (Václav Luks), Schola Gregoriana Pragensis (David Eben), Ensemble Inégal (Adam Viktora), Collegium Vocale Gent (Philippe Herreweghe), Vox Luminis (Lionel Meunier), La Grande Chapelle (Albert Recasens), Copenhagen Baroque Soloists (Jonathan Ofir), Wrocław Baroque Ensemble (Andrzej Kosendiak). With these ensembles he has the honor to continue working in concert, opera and recording activities.
In the field of interpretation of Baroque and Renaissance music, he draws on masterclasses from bass Joel Fredericksen, soprano Evelyn Tubb and tenor Erik Stoklossa.
In addition to singing, he devotes himself to playing tenor and bass sackbut (Renaissance style trombone). There were teachers to him excellent players such as Franck Poitrineau, Bernhard Rainer and Adam Woolf.
Tomáš Král studied voice at the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts with Adriana Hlavsová. He took part in masterclasses of Julie Hassler, Howard Crook, Peter Schreier, and Joel Frederiksen, and consulted with Ivan Kusnjer.
Since 2005, he has worked regularly with leading Czech ensembles, including Collegium 1704, Collegium Marianum, Musica Florea, Capella Regia Praha, Ensemble Inégal, Ensemble Tourbillon, and Ensemble Baroque. One of the founding members of the ensemble Collegium Vocale 1704, he appeared in its Bach–Prague–2005 extensive project.
As a soloist, he has performed at a number of European festivals, such as the Prague Spring festival, Dresdner Festspiele, Festival de La Chaise Dieu, Festival de Sablé, Festival d’Ambronay, Tage Alte Musik Regensburg, Oude Muziek Utrecht, MA Brugge, Wratislavia Cantans, Salzburger Festspiele, at the Bozar centre in Brussels, Vienna Konzerthaus, and Wigmore Hall in London.
He has also collaborated with Collegium Vocale Gent, Doulce Mémoire, Wrocłavský barokní orchestr, Musica Aeterna, Red Herring, L’Aura Soave di Cremona, Cinquecento, Vox Luminis, Holland Baroque Orchestra, and B’Rock Gent.
Tomáš Král also devotes himself to opera, having appeared as Uberto in La serva padrona by G. B. Pergolesi, as Giove in La Calisto by F. Cavalli with Collegium Marianum (in the Czech Republic, France, and Finland), as Lisingo in Le cinesi by C. W. von Gluck with Collegium 1704, Ernesto in Il mondo della Luna by J. Haydn with Ensemble Baroque, Apollo in G. F. Handel’s cantata Apollo e Dafne with Musica Florea, and as a guest at the Moravian Theatre in Olomouc in an operatic production of Boccaccio (title role), and in Mozart’s opera Cosi fan tutte (as Guglielmo).
In 2014 he made an appearance in a performance of Mozart’s Requiem under the baton of Michael Hofstetter at the Kunstfestspiele Herrenhausen in Hannover and at the Stadttheater Gießen. Collaboration with Hofstetter continued with a concert performance of Weber’s Der Freischütz at the Styriarte Festival in Graz, in which he rendered the role of Ottokar.
In 2015 he sang the title role in Telemann’s adaptation of Händel’s Riccardo Primo at the Stadttheater Gießen. In 2016 he took part in a highly acclaimed performance of St John’s Passion by Bach with B’Rock Gent in a production by Pierre Audi, performed at the Klara Festival in Brussels, at Wratislavia Cantans, and the Opera Forward Festival in Amsterdam. In the same year he sung Apollo in Monteverdi’s Orfeo in Dijon.
Jaromír Nosek studied choir conducting at the Charles University in Prague and voice at the Academy of Music in Prague. As a scholarship holder he took lessons with Emmy Kirkby at the Dartington International Summer School and subsequently studied with Christophe Rousset at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena and with Sara Mingardo at Conservatorio Santa Cecilia in Rome.
He attended masterclasses by Peter Kooij and Joel Frederiksen, among others. He is a laureate of the Dušek Vocal Competition.
Jaromír Nosek focuses primarily on Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical repertoire. He is a member of Collegium Vocale 1704 and Cappella Mariana and collaborates with a number of other ensembles, including Collegium Marianum, Musica Florea, Wrocławska Orkiestra Barokowa, Gli Angeli Genève, Vox Luminis, La Venexiana, and Lautten Compagney.
He has been invited to perform at a number of festivals, such as the Prague Spring, Salzburger Festspiele, Festival d‘Ambronay, Settimana Musicale Senese, Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht, Festival del Centro Histórico de la Ciudad de México, and Bach Festival Montréal.
He has appeared in operatic productions on prestigious stages in Europe, including the Estates Theatre in Prague, Stadttheater Schaffhausen, Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon, and Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden, rendering, for example, the title role in Vivaldi’s La Senna Festeggiante, Caronte in Monteverdi’s Orfeo, the Commendatore in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Sarastro in The Magic Flute.