Santa Ratniece


A composer of extraordinary sound textures and imaginative tonal colors whose work largely reflects society’s relationship with nature and the increasing gap with the natural world.  Santa will respond to Buxtehude's seventh and final cantata, TO THE FACE, premiering Saturday night June 25 and bringing Seven Responses to its conclusion.  She set texts from St. Clare of Assisi's letters to St. Agnes of Prague, augmented by the Song of Solomon (learn more about St. Clare here).

Santa Ratniece’s (Latvia) music has been played in Europe, Australia, Canada, United States and South America. With her music, Santa Ratniece participated in well-known festivals, such as Présences 2006, Tenso Days Paris 2007 (France), Klangspuren 2006, Klangraum im Herbst 2012 (Austria), The Baltic Sea Festival (Sweden), MusiMars 2006, Soundstreams 2012 (Canada), Tenso Dagen Amsterdam2009, Koorbiënnale Haarlem 2011, Operadagen Rotterdam 2012 (The Netherlands), 2010 ISCM World New Music days Sydney (Australia), La Biennale di Venezia 2010 (Italy), Usedomer Music Festival 2010 (Germany),SOCO Festival 2011 (Uruguay), Vale of Glamorgan festival of music 2011(United Kingdom), Month of Moderns 2013 (United States), Warsaw Autumn 2013 (Poland) and others.  Most of Ratniece`s music is devoted to the chamber choir; she has received regular commissions from Latvian Radio choir: Saline (2006), Hirondelles du Coeur (2007, for choir and orchestra) horo horo hata hata (2008, for 12 voices), Chu Dal (2009) and Fuoco Celeste (2011 for cello solo and choir). Her first stage work - multimedia opera WAR SUM UP. Music. Manga. Machines. was premiered at the Latvian National Opera in 2011, having had further performances at Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn New York, Brighton Festival 2012 , ULTIMA Oslo Contemporary Music Festival 2011, Café Budapest Contemporary Arts Festival 2012, Materia Prima Festival 2012 (Poland), Transart Festival 2013 (Italy).

To learn more about Santa, visit her website.


Santa Ratniece speaks to us from Riga about her Seven Responses libretto.

Santa's Libretto

Santa Ratniece

"My soul will sink within me''

for mixed choir and ensemble

The fourth letter of St.Clare of Assisi to Blessed Agnes of Prague, 1253

(15)Look into this mirror every day,
O queen, spouse of Jesus Christ,
And continually examine your face in it,
(16)So that in this way you may adorn yourself completely, Inwardly and outwardly,
Clothed and covered in multicolored apparel,
(17)Adorned in the same manner
With flowers and garments
Made of all the virtues as is proper,
Dearest daughter and spouse of the most high King.
(18)Moreover, in this mirror shine blessed poverty,
Holy humility, and charity beyond words,
As you will be able, with God's grace,
To contemplate throughout the entire mirror.

The first letter of St.Clare of Assisi to Blessed Agnes of Prague, 1234

(35)Valete in Domino et oretis pro me.
(Farewell in the Lord. And pray for me)

The fourth letter of St.Clare of Assisi to Blessed Agnes of Prague, 1253

(39)Vale, carissima filia, cum filiabus tuis usque ad thronum gloriae magni Dei et optate pro nobis.
(Farewell, dearest daughter, together with your own daughters, until we meet at the throne of glory of the great God, and pray for us)

The second letter of St.Clare of Assisi to Blessed Agnes of Prague, 1235-38

(11)What you hold, may you continue to hold,
What you do, may you keep doing and not stop, 
(12)But with swift pace, nimble step, and feet
That do not stumble so
That even your walking does not raise any dust.

The fourth letter of St.Clare of Assisi to Blessed Agnes of Prague, 1253

(26)I will remember this over and over
and my soul will sink within me.

The third letter of St.Clare of Assisi to Blessed Agnes of Prague, 1238

(12)Place your mind in the mirror of eternity;
Place your soul in the splendor of glory; 
(13)Place your heart in the figure of the divine substance;
And, through contemplation,
Transform your entire being
Into the image of the Divine One himself,
(14)So that you, yourself,
May also experience
What his friends experience
When they taste the hidden sweetness
That God alone has kept from the beginning
For those who love him.

(42)Vale semper in Domino, sicut me valere peropto, et tam me quam meas sorores tuis sacris orationibus recommenda.
(Stay well, always in the Lord, just as I very much desire to stay well, and be sure to remember both me and my sisters in your holy prayers)