Cappella Mariana is a vocal ensemble specializing in medieval and renaissance polyphony and the vocal repertoire of Early Baroque.
The performances of Capella Mariana have met with enthusiastic reception from the public and critics alike, the latter highlighting the ensemble’s expressive performance based on close attention paid to the text.
Cappella Mariana was founded in 2008 as one of the few local ensembles focussing on the interpretation of high vocal polyphony, especially from Italian, Flemish, and English Renaissance. The ensemble is an artistic guarantor of the concert cycle Lenten Fridays which aims to revive the historical tradition of musical performances held at the Monastery of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star.
The members of the ensemble are internationally renowned vocal artists who regularly collaborate also with ensemble Collegium Marianum and are frequent guests at some of the foremost European and world music scenes (e.g. Oude Muziek Utrecht, MAfestival Bruges, Tage Alter Musik Regensburg, Bachfest Leipzig, Prague Spring, and Mitte Europa). They specialize in the interpretation of baroque and pre-romantic music and have appeared in concert venues in the Czech Republic and abroad with ensembles such as Bach Collegium Japan, Collegium Vocale Gent, Vox Luminis, Huelgas Ensemble, or Tiburtina Ensemble.
In 2012 the ensemble published its first CD, Sacrum et Profanum. In 2014 Cappella Mariana participated in the celebrations of the Year of Czech Music, publishing second CD Praga Magna with repertory of the court of Rudolf II, performing at the important European festivals and recording its concert performances for the Czech Radio.
Nowadays the ensemble is regular guest of festivals like Oude Muziek Utrecht, Laus Polyphoniae Antwerp, Arte Sacro Madrid and is preparing new CD discovering important bohemian manuscript Codex Specialnik.
The ensemble works under the artistic direction of Vojtěch Semerád, a graduate of Charles University, Prague, and Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris who further pursues his interest in vocal polyphony and researches in the area of 15th- and 16th-century music of Central-European provenience.
Vojtěch Semerád is a graduate of the Prague Conservatory, Charles Uiversity in Prague (Choir Conducting) and Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse in Paris (baroque violin with with François Fernandez). He is a finalists of the prestigious Telemann-Wettbewerb competion in Magdeburg.
He is a member of Collegium Marianum ensemble which focuses on the performance of 17th- and 18th-century music and which, as one of the few thus specialized ensembles in the Czech Republic, specializes not only in concert productions but also in staged performances of scenic works.
As a soloist and chamber musician he has appeared at prestigious venues and festivals around Europe, including Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Palau de la Música Barcelona, Concertgebouw Rotterdam, Tage Alter Musik Regensburg, Bachfest Leipzig, and Prague Spring. He regularly collaborates with ensembles such as Le Poème Harmonique, Les Folies Françoises, and Les Agrémens and has realized recordings for Deutsche Gramophon, Naïve, and Supraphon, among others.
As a singer he is regularly invited to perform with ensembles such as Huelgas Ensemble or Vox Luminis. He actively researches in the 15th- and 16th- century music of the Central-European provenience.
Vojtěch Semerád is the artistic director of the Cappella Mariana vocal ensemble, one of the few such ensembles specializing in the interpretation of Renaissance polyphony, and Early-Baroque vocal works.