The Boston Early Music Festival presents The Dragon of Wantley

The Grammy-winning Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Opera Series presents a rollicking 1737 masterpiece—John Frederick Lampe’s The Dragon of Wantley—on Thanksgiving weekend in Boston with additional performances in Miami and Troy, NY

Cambridge, MA – The GRAMMY Award-winning Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Opera Series returns on Thanksgiving weekend with an all-new production that’s Monty Python meets Handel with John Frederick Lampe’s 1737 opera The Dragon of Wantley. A fire-breathing dragon is terrorizing the Yorkshire countryside and only the local squire, Moore of Moore Hall, can save the day. If only he can be bothered to put down his beer. The production will be performed twice in Boston on Saturday, November 25, and Sunday, November 26 before going on tour to Miami on Thursday, November 30, presented by RK Cultural Productions, and Troy, NY on Saturday, December 2 at the historic Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. A virtual presentation will follow, available to watch from Saturday, December 9 through Saturday, December 23.

This all-new production is led by BEMF’s GRAMMY-winning Musical Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs and internationally acclaimed Stage Director Gilbert Blin. The stellar cast includes GRAMMY nominee Teresa Wakim as Margery, Hannah De Priest as Mauxalinda, GRAMMY winner Aaron Sheehan as Moore, John Taylor Ward as The Dragon, and Douglas Williams as Gubbins alongside the all-star BEMF Chamber Ensemble with Concertmaster Robert Mealy and the BEMF Dance Company and Choreographer Melinda Sullivan. Rounding out the directorial team for this must-see operatic event are Costume Designer Seth Bodie, Lighting Designer Kelly Martin, Assistant Stage Director Jason McStoots, and Executive Producer Kathleen Fay.

Born in Germany around 1703, Lampe moved to England in 1724 and found work as a bassoonist in the London opera houses and performed at the coronation of King George II in 1727. Premiering at the Haymarket Theatre in 1737, Lampe’s The Dragon of Wantley was the most popular operatic production of the entire 18th century in England, enjoying a 45-year run. Lampe deftly lampoons the excesses of Handelian opera in this hilarious farce.

ASSOCIATED EVENTSJoin us one hour before each performance in Boston for an engaging talk featuring celebrated author and musicologist Ellen T. Harris.

ARTISTS: Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Opera SeriesPaul O’Dette & Stephen Stubbs, Musical DirectorsGilbert Blin, Stage DirectorsRobert Mealy, ConcertmasterMelinda Sullivan, ChoreographerSeth Bodie, Costume DesignerKelly Martin, Lighting DesignerJason McStoots, Assistant Stage DirectorKathleen Fay, Executive ProducerTeresa Wakim, MargeryHannah De Priest, MauxalindaAaron Sheehan, MooreJohn Taylor Ward, The DragonDouglas Williams, GubbinsBoston Early Music Festival Chamber EnsembleRobert Mealy & Cynthia Roberts, violin; Sarah Darling, viola; David Morris, violoncello; Doug Balliett, double bass; Gonzalo X. Ruiz & Kathryn Montoya, oboe & recorder; Dominic Teresi, bassoon; John Thiessen & Brandon Bergeron, trumpet (Boston only); Todd Williams & Nathanael Udell, horn (Boston only); Michelle Humphreys, percussion (Boston and Troy only); Paul O’Dette, theorbo; Stephen Stubbs, theorbo & Baroque guitar; Michael Sponseller, harpsichordBoston Early Music Festival Dance CompanyJulian Donahue & Sonam Tshedzom Tingkhye
WHEN: Saturday, November 25, 2023 at 8pm ETSunday, November 26, 2023 at 3pm ETNew England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MAThursday, November 30, 2023 at 8pm ETFIU Wertheim Performing Arts Center, Miami, FLPresented by RK Cultural Productions, rkculturalproductions.orgSaturday, December 2, 2023 at 8pm ETTroy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, NY, troymusichall.orgVirtual Premiere: Saturday, December 9, 2023 at 8pm ETAvailable to watch until Saturday, December 23, 2023 at 11:59pm ET
TICKETS: Tickets for the Boston, MA performances are priced at $125, $90, $60, $45, and $25 for the in-person performance, and $25 for the virtual event. All Boston tickets include a complimentary ticket for the virtual performance. To purchase tickets, visit or call the BEMF Box Office at 617-661-1812. Discounts are available for students and seniors.Tickets for the Miami, FL performance are priced at $35 and are available at Tickets for the Troy, NY performance are priced at $65, $55, and $40 and are available at

ABOUT THE BEMF CHAMBER OPERA SERIESHailed by the Boston Globe for “vivid performance,” since 2008 the BEMF Chamber Opera Series has taken the internationally acclaimed musicianship, scholarship, and direction showcased in BEMF’s fully staged Festival opera and focused it on small-scale works in intimate productions each Thanksgiving weekend. Several productions from the Chamber Opera Series have also been presented on tour across North America with performances in New York, NY, Kansas City, MO, Vancouver, BC, Victoria, BC, Miami, FL, Katonah, NY, and Great Barrington, MA. BEMF’s studio recording of the two Charpentier works was awarded the 2015 GRAMMY Award for Best Opera Recording.

ABOUT THE BOSTON EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL:Recognized as the preeminent early music presenter and Baroque opera producer in North America, the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) has been credited with securing Boston’s reputation as “America’s early music capital” (The Boston Globe). Founded in 1981, BEMF offers diverse programs and activities, including one GRAMMY Award–winning and five GRAMMY Award–nominated opera recordings, an annual concert series that brings early music’s brightest stars to the Boston and New York concert stages, and a biennial week-long Festival and Exhibition recognized as the “world’s leading festival of early music” (The Times, London). The 23rd Boston Early Music Festival will take place from June 8 to 15, 2025, and will feature a fully staged production of Reinhard Keiser’s Octavia. BEMF’s Artistic Leadership includes Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, Opera Director Gilbert Blin, Orchestra Director Robert Mealy, and Dance Director Melinda Sullivan.

The Boston Early Music Festival is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Constellation Charitable Foundation, and WCRB Classical Radio Boston, as well as a number of generous foundations and individuals from around the world.

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