Under Anne Azéma’s direction, The Boston Camerata returns to its acclaimed An American Christmas program, presented this year as an online special concert, and filmed for the occasion at Boston’s historic Old North Church.
An American Christmas retells the familiar Nativity story with vigorous music from the early years of our Republic. The program includes early songs and hymns from colonial Boston, marches and jigs from Federalist New Hampshire, and rousing spirituals from the antebellum Deep South. As one of Camerata’s most beloved and requested seasonal productions, it has been newly reshaped for the 2020 holiday season, for home viewing and enjoyment.
“We have been performing some of these songs for years,” remarks Artistic Director Azéma, “but never under such urgent conditions as now. I think this glorious music from a young and hopeful nation will give us all the kind of boost we wish for at this moment. And our setting, in the Old North Church, will add a powerful ‘vibe’ to the seasonal message.”
Conceived and produced to be viewed on screens, this year’s program presents a stellar cast: Camila Parias, soprano, Anne Azéma, mezzo-soprano, Deborah Rentz-Moore, alto, Daniel Hershey and Corey Dalton Hart, tenors, Luke Scott, bass-baritone, with Jesse Lepkoff, flute, guitar and Libor Dudas, organ.
Tickets are $30/$45/$10 and may be purchased at: https://bostoncamerata.org/tickets/online-ordering
About The Boston Camerata
The Boston Camerata occupies a unique place in the densely populated universe of European and American early music ensembles. Camerata’s distinguished rank stems partly from its longevity: founded in 1954, when the field of endeavor was in its infancy, as an adjunct to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts’ musical instruments collection, Camerata is now one of the longest-lived groups to be functioning, and vigorously so, up to the present day.
But length of service, by itself is not sufficient to account for Camerata’s preeminence, nor are its numerous distinctions, including the American Critics’ Circle Award, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, residencies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Tennessee, and the Grand Prix du Disque. The Boston Camerata has achieved its eminence in large part because of its willingness to approach, with consistent success, many kinds of historical repertoires from many centuries, from the early Middle Ages to the nineteenth century, and from many places and cultures, stretching from the Middle East to early New England, with numerous intermediate stops in Renaissance and Baroque Europe and Latin America. Directed from 1969 to 2009 by Joel Cohen, and from 2009 to the present day by French-born vocalist, scholar and stage director Anne Azéma, the Boston Camerata has continued to create, over more than a half-century of activity, a very large number of concert and recorded productions.
Two new recordings appeared in 2019: Treasures of Devotion presents music from the early Renaissance and Free America! Songs of Resistance and Rebellion produced by Harmonia Mundi.
Last month, Camerata’s trailblazing, made-for-Internet production of Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas earned international acclaim as it was viewed by music lovers on five continents.