John Weretka holds undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in medieval history, musicology, art history, theology and Latin. He is currently pursuing an MPhil at the University of Divinity under the supervision of Dr Callan Ledsham and Rev Dr Christopher Shorrock. His Masters thesis is a translation of and commentary on the Liber Primus of the De Mitrale by the twelfth-century bishop and theologian, Sicard of Cremona, with an examination of its position in the tradition of the liturgical commentary of the Middle Ages and its links to works such as Jean Beleth’s Rationale Divinorum Officiorum, Honorius of Autun’s Gemma Animae and Hugh of St Victor’s Speculum de Mysteriis Ecclesiae.
John has taught subjects on the history of music in the Renaissance and Baroque period and harmony and counterpoint for the Faculty of Music at the University of Melbourne and currently co-teaches a performance subject on the music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
He has given public lectures and talks for bodies including the Johnston Collection and the National Gallery of Victoria, and for over ten years has worked as a preconcert speaker for the Australian Chamber Orchestra. His published work includes examinations of the depiction of the guitar and musette in the paintings of Watteau and the iconography of the lirone in a painting by Roman Baroque painter Pierfrancesco Mola, an article on traditions of design in the Roman church facade in the early eighteenth century, and an article on constructive principles of the urban prints of Piranesi’s teacher, Giuseppe Vasi. An article on the iconography of Bernini’s Ecstasy of St Teresa is soon to appear.
Active as a performing musician, John has appeared as a singer or viola da gambist in festivals and concerts throughout Australia, in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. His festival appearances include the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts, the Castlemaine State Festival, the Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields Festival, the Four Winds Festival at Bermagui, and the Melbourne International Festival of Organ and Harpsichord/Melbourne Autumn Music Festival. As a soloist, he has appeared in works as diverse as the Vespers of Monteverdi and Handel, several large-scale works of Marc-Antoine Charpentier including the Te Deum, Bach’s Mass, St Matthew Passion and St John Passion and many others. He is a foundation member of the acclaimed vocal ensemble, e21, which is dedicated to exploring the chant and polyphony of the Middle Ages and early Renaissance. John is currently Choir Master of the Chapel of Queen’s College at the University of Melbourne, with whom he recently recorded a CD of music from the Victorian and Edwardian periods, Vivat Regina.
For further information on John Weretka’s projects:
- www.scriptoriummediaevale.com John’s commentary on various Latin translation projects he’s involved in.
- www.linkedin.com/in/johnweretka LinkedIn profile.
- www.queens.unimelb.edu.au/choir Web page of Queen’s College Choir, of which John is Choir Master.
- www.facebook.com/e21vocalensemble Facebook page of vocal ensemble e21, of which John is a foundation member.
- Member of the Society of Architectural Historians
- Secretary of the Australian Viola da Gamba Society
Articles, Book Chapters, Reviews
- Weretka, John. “The ‘Non-Aedicular Style” and the Roman Church Facade of the Early Eighteenth Century’
- Review of recent exhibition of forty of Gabriel Metsu’s paintings at the National Gallery of Art, Washington.
- Weretka, John. Review of ‘Pastel portraits: Images of eighteenth-century Europe’
- Weretka, John. ‘Homer the lironist: P.F. Mola, art and music in the Baroque’
- Weretka, John. ‘The guitar, the musette and meaning in the fêtes galantes of Watteau’, emaj, issue 3, 2008.
John first joined ASA in 2009 and has led the following ASA tours:
- The Wine Dark Sea: Sicily (2013)
- Renaissance & Baroque Rome with the University of Melbourne (2009)
- Cultural Treasures of The Low Countries: Beyond Chocolate and Windmills (2016-2019)