1574 - 1646
Raphaela Aleotta was a nun who trained and directed an assemblage of twenty-three singing nuns at the widely renowned convent of San Vito, Ferrara. She was not only a singer herself, but played a wide variety of musical instruments, unusual for a woman of her time. She functioned both privately within the convent and publicly as a teacher to young children. The puzzle of Aleotti/Aleotta is a complicated biographical mystery; there has been considerable scholarly dispute as to whether Raphaela Aleotta was the elder sister of Vittoria, or whether Vittoria took the name Raphaela when she entered the San Vito convent. However, the abilities of this woman (these women?) as composer, performer, and director at San Vito are undisputed.