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José de San Juan (ca.1685-ca.1735) - Oratorio a Santa María Magdalena
137 pages 2023 ISMN 979-0-805453-39-2 (PDF)
Also available in paperback edition
José de San Juan was born in Catalonia around 1685. In 1707 he worked as a teacher at the Real Colegio de Niños Cantores in Madrid. The following year he occupied the vacant position of chapel master at the Cathedral of Sigüenza. Finally, in July 1711 he left Sigüenza to take up the post of chapel master at the monastery of the Descalzas Reales in Madrid. Although the date of his death is unknown, it is estimated that it must have occurred around 1735.
The Oratorio a Santa María Magdalena is the only oratorio by José de San Juan that has come down to us. We know that it was performed in Valencia in 1715 and in Mallorca in successive years, although it is probable that it was premiered in Madrid before that date. The oratorio that we publish here, which relates some episodes of the life of Mary Magdalene prior to the Passion of Christ, was followed by a second part, of which only the libretto is preserved. As presented in this first part of the oratorio, the figure of Mary Magdalene, follower of Jesus present at the Crucifixion, was joined by two other different characters: Mary of Bethany, sister of Lazarus and Martha, and the sinful woman from the Gospel of St. Luke.
In each of the episodes in which Mary Magdalene is the protagonist, the character of the Temptation offers arguments that seek to distance her from God, while the characters of Divine Light and Angel refute these arguments so that Mary may successfully complete the path of holiness that she has undertaken.
- Santa María Magdalena: soprano 1
Instruments: 2 violins and b.c.