The Boston Early Music Festival Vocal & Chamber Ensembles present a program of works by Monteverdi – in Boston and online

The Boston Early Music Festival Vocal & Chamber Ensembles present a program of works by Monteverdi—in Boston and online

ARTIST: BEMF Vocal & Chamber Ensembles
Paul O’Dette & Stephen Stubbs, Musical DirectorsDanielle Reutter-Harrah & Teresa Wakim, soprano; Cecilia Duarte, mezzo-soprano; Jason McStoots & Aaron Sheehan, tenor; Jonathan Woody, bass-baritone;

Tekla Cunningham, guest concertmaster; Cynthia Roberts, violin; Laura Jeppesen, viola & viola da gamba; Erin Headley, lirone & viola da gamba; Maxine Eilander, Baroque harp; Michael Sponseller, harpsichord & organ; Paul O’Dette & Stephen Stubbs, chitarrone

WHEN: Saturday, October 16, 2021 at 7:30pm
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MAVirtual Premiere: Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 8pm ET
Available until Saturday, November 13, 2021 at 11:59pm ET
PROGRAM:  Monteverdi: Here I am, ready for kisses!

Monteverdi: Hor ch’el ciel e la terra e’l vento tace
Monteverdi: Chiome d’oro bel Tesoro
Monteverdi: Eccomi pronta ai baci
Castello: Sonata Decimaquinta à 4
Monteverdi: Ohime ch’io cado
Monteverdi: Gira il nemico insidioso Amore
Monteverdi: Lamento d’Arianna
Monteverdi: Ogni amante è guerrier
Castello: Sonata Decimasesta à 4
Monteverdi: Lamento della Ninfa
Monteverdi: Altri Canti di Marte
TICKETS: Tickets are priced at $80, $50, and $30 for the in-person performance, and $15 for the virtual event. Virtual tickets are included free with all in-person tickets or can be purchased on their own. To purchase tickets, visit or call the BEMF Box Office at 617-661-1812; a $5 discount for students and seniors is available for in-person tickets. Subscription discounts are available with the purchase of three or more programs in the 2021–2022 Season.

BEMF returns to the stage with a program from the all-star Boston Early Music Festival Vocal & Chamber Ensembles. GRAMMY-winning Musical Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs lead these world-class singers and instrumentalists in selections from Monteverdi’s late vocal works on the subject of love. Monteverdi is at the height of his powers as he explores the vast breadth of emotions that love inspires, ranging from soaring passion to desperate sadness. The program features an outstanding roster of singers, including GRAMMY-winning tenor Aaron Sheehan, GRAMMY-nominated soprano Teresa Wakim, soprano Danielle Reutter-Harrah, mezzo-soprano Cecilia Duarte, tenor Jason McStoots, and bass-baritone Jonathan Woody, alongside the all-star BEMF Chamber Ensemble with guest concertmaster Tekla Cunningham.

As we return to in-person performances with our 2021–2022 Season, the health and safety of our audience, employees, and artists is our highest priority. BEMF is joining many of our colleagues around Boston in requiring patrons to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated. Patrons may use either paper or electronic documentation. Exceptions will be made for children under 12 and persons with a medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief that prevents vaccination. Patrons who require an exception will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance. All staff and musicians will also be required to be vaccinated.

In addition, we will require patrons to wear a well-fitted mask covering their nose and mouth at ALL times at the concert venue, including throughout the performance. We will be reducing capacity significantly to ensure socially distanced seating at all venues and will not be offering ticket sales or ticket pick-up at the concert venue. For our patrons who cannot—or chose not to—attend a performance after a ticket purchase has been made, we are offering free ticket exchanges and refunds for all in-person performances up to 2 hours before concert start time, as well as Virtual Ticket options for all events.

As the global pandemic is still a developing situation, we anticipate these protocols will evolve in the months ahead. Visit to review our current safety policies.

A pre-concert video featuring Musical Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs discussing the program, moderated by Executive Director Kathleen Fay, will be released on Tuesday, October 12.

The Boston Early Music Festival Vocal and Chamber Ensembles débuted in November of 2008 with John Blow’s Venus and Adonis and Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Actéon. The Vocal Ensemble is a collection of fine young singers dedicated to presenting choice operatic and other treasures as both soloists and members of the chorus, under the leadership of BEMF Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs. The Chamber Ensemble is an intimate subset of the BEMF Orchestra, led by O’Dette and Stubbs, along with BEMF Orchestra Director Robert Mealy. The Ensembles’ début recording of Charpentier’s Acteon, on the CPO label, was released in November 2010. Subsequent CPO releases include their GRAMMY-nominated recording of Charpentier’s Les Plaisirs de Versailles and Les Arts Florissants and their GRAMMY-winning recording of Charpentier’s La Descente d’Orphee aux Enfers and La Couronne de Fleurs. The BEMF Vocal and Chamber Ensembles have mounted successful tours of their chamber opera productions, including a four-city North American Tour of Handel’s Acis and Galatea in early 2011 that included the American Handel Festival in Seattle, and a North American Tour of the Charpentier double bill in 2014.

Paul O’Dette has been described as “the clearest case of genius ever to touch his instrument” (Toronto Globe and Mail). He appears regularly at major festivals throughout the world performing lute recitals and in chamber music programs with leading early music colleagues. Mr. O’Dette has made more than 150 recordings, winning two GRAMMY Awards and receiving eight GRAMMY nominations and numerous international record awards. While best known for his recitals and recordings of virtuoso solo lute music, Mr. O’Dette is also active conducting Baroque opera and oratorio. At the Boston Early Music Festival, in collaboration with Stephen Stubbs, he has directed performances of Luigi Rossi’s L’Orfeo, Cavalli’s Ercole Amante, Lully’s Thésée and Psyché, Conradi’s Ariadne, Mattheson’s Boris Goudenow, Steffani’s Niobe, Regina di Tebe and Orlando generoso, Handel’s Almira, all three Monteverdi operas, Campra’s Le Carnaval de Venise, and many Baroque chamber operas. In addition to his activities as a performer, Paul O’Dette is an avid researcher, having worked extensively on the performance and sources of 17th-century Italian and English solo song, continuo practices, and lute repertoire. He is Professor of Lute and Director of Early Music at the Eastman School of Music and Artistic Co-Director of the Boston Early Music Festival.

Stephen Stubbs, GRAMMY-winning Artistic Co-Director of the Boston Early Music Festival, spent a thirty-year career in Europe before returning to his native Seattle in 2006 as one of the world’s most respected lutenists, conductors, and Baroque opera specialists. In 2007, Stephen established his new production company, Pacific MusicWorks, based in Seattle, reflecting his lifelong interest in both early music and contemporary performance. The company’s inaugural presentation was a production of South African artist William Kentridge’s acclaimed multimedia staging of Claudio Monteverdi’s opera The Return of Ulysses in a co-production with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In 2018, Pacific MusicWorks released its first commercial recording on the Naxos label: Total Eclipse: Music for Handel’s Tenor, featuring GRAMMY Award-winning tenor Aaron Sheehan. In addition to his ongoing commitments to PMW and BEMF, recent appearances have included the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, Opera Omaha, Juilliard, the Merola program, and numerous productions for the University of Washington School of Music and for Opera UCLA. In recent years he has conducted Handel’s Messiah with the Seattle, Edmonton, Birmingham, Houston, and Nova Scotia Symphony orchestras.

Recognized as the preeminent early music presenter and Baroque opera producer in North America, the Boston Early Music Festival 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 weeklong Festival and Exhibition recognized as the “world’s leading festival of early music” (The Times, London). The 22nd Boston Early Music Festival, A Celebration of Women, will take place from June 4-11, 2023, and will feature the North American premiere of Henry Demarest’s Circé. 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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