Boston Early Music Festival | Baroque Christmas: Music of Corelli and Stradella

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2021-2022 Season Together again!

BEMF Voc a l & C ha mber E ns emb l e s Paul O’Dette & Stephen Stubbs, Musical Directors

Tuesday, December 7, 2021 7pm | IDAGIO’s Global Concert Hall

BEM F.or g

International Baroque Opera • Celebrated Concerts • World-Famous Exhibition

Boson Early Music Fesival Boston Early Music Festival Vocal & Chamber Ensembles Paul O’Dette & Stephen Stubbs, Musical Directors Robert Mealy, Concertmaster Gilbert Blin, Stage Director Kathleen Fay, Executive Producer

Baroque Christmas: Music of Corelli and Stradella Si apra al riso ogni labro

Alessandro Stradella (1639–1682)

Teresa Wakim, soprano Nathan Medley, countertenor Jesse Blumberg, baritone

Concerto grosso in G minor, Op. 6, No. 8 (Christmas Concerto) Vivace — Grave Allegro Adagio — Allegro — Adagio Vivace Allegro — Pastorale ad libitum: Largo Ah! troppo è ver

Arcangelo Corelli (1653–1713)

Amanda Forsythe, Angelo & Pastore Primo Danielle Reutter-Harrah, Maria Vergine Nathan Medley, San Gioseppe Aaron Sheehan, Pastore Secondo Douglas Williams, Lucifero


Flemish double-manual harpsichord by Earl Russell, Oberlin, Ohio, 2002, after Ruckers. Continuo Organ by Bennett & Giuttari, Rehoboth, Massachusetts, Op. 6, 1996. VIRTUAL CONCERT Tuesday, December 7, 2021, 7pm Streaming at IDAGIO’s Global Concert Hall Filmed concert recorded at the GBH Fraser Performance Studio One Guest Street, Boston, Massachusetts Tuesday, November 30, 2021 1

B o st o n E a r ly Music F estival

Bos t o n E a r ly M u s i c Fe s t iva l Vocal Ens emb le Amanda Forsythe, soprano Danielle Reutter-Harrah, soprano Teresa Wakim, soprano Nathan Medley, countertenor Aaron Sheehan, tenor Jesse Blumberg, baritone Douglas Williams, bass-baritone

Bosto n E a r ly M u s i c F e s t iva l C hambe r Ens emb le Robert Mealy, Cynthia Roberts, Sarah Darling & Jesse Irons, violin I Johanna Novom, Katherine Winterstein & Emily Dahl Irons, violin II Laura Jeppesen & Anna Griffis, viola Phoebe Carrai & Andrew Koutroubas, violoncello Doug Balliett, double bass Michael Sponseller, harpsichord & organ Maxine Eilander, Baroque harp Paul O’Dette, archlute Stephen Stubbs, chitarrone & Baroque guitar

G BH M u s ic Anthony Rudel, Executive Producer Brian McCreath, producer Antonio Oliart Ros, audio producer Alan McLellan, producer

This concert is generously sponsored by Ann and Graham Gund.

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P ROGRA M No t e s

Arcangelo Corelli

Portrait by Hugh Howard (1675–1737), 1697

The original inspiration for this program was the desire to present Stradella’s magnificent Christmas cantata, Ah! troppo è ver. This large cantata, resembling an oratorio, is one of the major achievements of Alessandro Stradella (1639–1682), one of the greatest composers of the late seventeenth century, and one who deserves to be much better known in our time. Historical circumstances and similarity of instrumental forces immediately pointed to a pairing with the justly beloved Christmas concerto by Arcangelo Corelli (1653–1713), which he subtitled Fatto per la Notte di Natale. To complete the picture of Christmas-inspired music by Stradella and Corelli, we have also programmed the smaller but unusually intense Stradella cantata, Si apra al riso ogni labro. Not all of Stradella’s compositions can be unequivocally placed either geographically or chronologically—and that applies to both of the Christmas cantatas here. On the other hand, circumstantial evidence has led the leading Stradella scholar, Carolyn Gianturco, to conjecture Rome in the mid-1670s as the place and time for the composition and performance of Ah! troppo 3

è ver. Several facts lead to an even narrower window of 1675 or 1676: first, the text for San Gioseppe (St. Joseph) makes emphatic reference to “clemenza,” which seems likely to be a reference to the current Pope (Clement X, Pope from 1670 to 1676); second, the Stradella work which bears the greatest resemblance in scope and resources is his magnificent oratorio San Giovanni Battista, which can be dated to 1675; third, in early 1677, after having been caught embezzling from the Church, Stradella fled to Venice to begin his peripatetic and scandal-ridden final years which ended with his murder in 1682; and fourth, Corelli seems to have arrived in Rome in 1675 from Bologna (at about the age of 22), and it appears likely that he would have played in the orchestra for this piece, given his later development of the Concerto Grosso form which he may have encountered here for the first time. Recent research indicates that Bologna was Stradella’s native city, so both composers, so intimately connected to Rome, spent a portion of their youth in Bologna. It is well-known that Corelli developed the idea of the Concerto Grosso, especially through works composed in Rome in the B o sto n E a r ly Music F estival

1680s but first published in Amsterdam as his Opus 6 in 1714. This publication set a pattern that would be emulated by many later composers including Handel. Much less well-known is the fact that it was Stradella who established the principal of contrast between the small soloistic Concertino group and the larger Concerto Grosso, in both instrumental and vocal works in the 1660s and 1670s. Ah! troppo è ver is a prime example of this usage and it brings with it an enormous range of orchestral colors with which to accompany the cast of five singers. The two sopranos, alto, and tenor all embody roles that one would expect in the Christmas story: an Angel, two shepherds, Joseph, and the Virgin Mary. But to increase the dramatic tension, Stradella introduces the bad guy: Lucifer himself is the role for the solo bass. Lucifer begins the whole story by ranting about his fears that his nemesis is about to be born. He calls out a chorus of Furies (the other four singers) to resist this ominous development. The Stradella cantata is coloristically special in another way which is meaningful to the BEMF continuo team—the instrumental opening introduces the solo lute and solo harpsichord in the midst of the concerto grosso and later the aria of the soprano shepherd is accompanied by solo harp. Stradella was determined to

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give a maximum of color and variety to his cantata, making it truly operatic. The final ingredient on the program is Stradella’s other Christmas cantata, Si apra al riso ogni labro. This work is smaller in performing forces (only two violins and three singers) and performance time (about twenty-five minutes rather than thirty-five), and the three singers do not have named roles but are simply “Pastori”—shepherds who bear witness to the emotional intensity of the arrival of the baby Jesus. The work focuses on the night when Christ was born, and the emotions of those who heard the news. The poetry emphasizes the contrast between the unlimited power of God (sometimes referred to as “the great Thunderer”) and the vulnerability of the human child who embodies the holy spirit. There are striking poetic images: “he rules the world, and yet whimpers as a baby” and “he holds lightning in his hands, and yet he trembles.” It is perhaps this intimate view of the Nativity that led him to use a new texture, not explored in the large-scale Ah! troppo è ver, the deployment of the three voices in one particularly beautiful and contrapuntally skillful movement, with no instruments at all: a madrigal for three voices a cappella. n —Stephen Stubbs, November 2021


2021-2022 Season Together again!

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Paul O’Dette & Stephen Stubbs, Artistic Directors

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n Saturday, December 11, 2021

8pm | Virtual Premiere

The GRAMMY Award–winning BEMF Chamber Opera Series is back with an all-new production!


B o sto n E a r ly Music F estival

n Friday, December 10, 2021

8pm | Virtual Premiere

THE TALLIS SCHOLARS Peter Phillips, director

Josquin 500: Music of Josquin, Palestrina, and Byrd

n Friday, February 18, 2022

8pm | St. Paul Church, Cambridge

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n Friday, February 25, 2022

8pm | St. Paul Church, Cambridge

Jordi Savall, director & Le Concert des Nations Les Fêtes Royales in Baroque Versailles

n Saturday, March 26, 2022

8pm | First Church in Cambridge, Congregational

Juilliard415 & Royal Early Music Paul Agnew, director

C. P. E. Bach: Die Israeliten in der Wüste

n Saturday, April 2, 2022

8pm | NEC’s Jordan Hall, Boston

Carolyn Sampson, soprano & Kristian Bezuidenhout, fortepiano Songs of Parting: Music by Mozart, Haydn, and others

n Friday, April 29, 2022

8pm | St. Paul Church, Cambridge

Ensemble Correspondances Sébastien Daucé, director

Septem Verba & Membra Jesu Nostri: Music of Buxtehude and Schütz 2 021–20 22 Seaso n


Artis t Profi l e s Ab ou t t h e D ir e cto rs 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. The Complete Lute Music of John Dowland (a 5-CD set for harmonia mundi usa) was awarded the prestigious Diapason d’Or de l’Année, and was named “Best Solo Lute Recording of Dowland” by BBC Radio 3. The Bachelar’s Delight: Lute Music of Daniel Bacheler was nominated for a Grammy as Best Solo Instrumental Recording in 2006. While best known for his recitals and recordings of virtuoso solo lute music, Paul O’Dette is also active as a conductor of Baroque opera. Together with Stephen Stubbs he won a Grammy as conductor in 2015 for Best Opera Recording, as well as an Echo Klassik Award, for their recording of Charpentier’s La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers with the Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble. Their CDs of Conradi’s Ariadne, Lully’s Thésée, and Lully’s Psyché, with the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra on the CPO label, were nominated for Grammys in 2005, 2007, and 2008; their 2015 BEMF CD of Steffani’s Niobe, Regina di Tebe on the Erato/Warner Classics label was also nominated for a Grammy, and received both an Echo Klassik and the coveted Jahrespreis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik. Their recording of Charpentier’s Les Arts Florissants was nominated for Grammy in 2019. In addition to his activities as a performer, Paul O’Dette is an avid researcher, having worked extensively on the performance of seventeenth-century Italian and English solo song, continuo practices, and lute repertoire. He has published numerous articles on issues of historical performance practice, and co-authored the John Dowland entry in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Paul O’Dette 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, who won the Grammy Award as conductor for Best Opera Recording in 2015, spent a thirty-year career in Europe. He returned to his native Seattle in 2006 as one of the world’s most respected lutenists, conductors, and Baroque opera specialists. He now lives with his family in Santa Clarita, California. In 2007, Stephen established his new production company, Pacific MusicWorks (PMW), 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. PMW’s performances of the Monteverdi Vespers were described in the press as “utterly thrilling” and “of a quality you are unlikely to encounter anywhere else in the world.” Stephen Stubbs is also the Boston Early Music Festival’s Artistic Co-Director along with his long-time colleague Paul O’Dette. Stephen and Paul are also the musical directors 2 021–20 22 Seaso n


” . l u f r e t s a M “ —Gramop


agostino Steffani



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of all BEMF operas, recordings of which were nominated for six Grammy awards, including one Grammy win in 2015. Also in 2015, BEMF recordings won two Echo Klassik awards and the Diapason d’Or de l’Année. In 2017, they received the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik. In addition to his ongoing commitments to PMW and BEMF, other recent appearances have included Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice in Bilbao, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Così fan tutte for the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, Handel’s Agrippina and Semele for Opera Omaha, Cavalli’s La Calisto and Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie for Juilliard, Mozart’s Il re pastore for the Merola program, and seven productions for Opera UCLA including Cavalli’s Giasone, Monteverdi’s Poppea, and Handel’s Amadigi. In recent years he has conducted Handel’s Messiah with the Seattle, Edmonton, Birmingham, Houston, and Nova Scotia Symphony orchestras. His extensive discography as conductor and solo lutenist includes well over 100 CDs, many of which have received international acclaim and awards. One of America’s most prominent Baroque violinists, Robert Mealy has been praised for his “imagination, taste, subtlety, and daring” by the Boston Globe. The New Yorker has called him “New York’s world-class early music violinist.” Mr. Mealy began exploring early music in high school. While still an undergraduate at Harvard College, he was asked to join the Canadian Baroque orchestra Tafelmusik. Since then, he has recorded and toured with a wide range of distinguished early music ensembles in the U.S. and Europe, from Sequentia to Les Arts Florissants. He has led orchestras for Masaaki Suzuki, Nicholas McGegan, William Christie, Andrew Parrott, Paul Agnew, and Helmuth Rilling, among many others. Mr. Mealy is Orchestra Director of the Boston Early Music Festival. Since 2005 he has led the BEMF Orchestra in their festival performances and award-winning recordings. In New York, he is principal concertmaster at Trinity Wall Street for their concerts of the complete Bach cantatas. He is also co-director of the acclaimed seventeenth-century ensemble Quicksilver. In summers he teaches at the American Baroque Soloists Academy in San Francisco and is often a featured artist at William Christie’s summer festival in Thiré. In 2018, Mr. Mealy made his recital début at Carnegie Hall. A devoted teacher as well as a performer, Mr. Mealy has directed the graduate Historical Performance Program at The Juilliard School since 2012. He has led his Juilliard students in acclaimed performances at Alice Tully Hall and in many international tours, including performances as conservatory-in-residence at the Utrecht Festival and concerts in distant lands like India and New Zealand. From 2003 to 2015, he was on the faculty of Yale; prior to that, he taught at Harvard for over a decade. In 2004, he received EMA’s Binkley Award for outstanding teaching and scholarship. He has recorded over 80 CDs on most major labels. He still likes to practice. Kathleen Fay has served as Executive Director of the Boston Early Music Festival since 1989, and as General Manager since 1987. For over three decades, she has been, and continues to be responsible for all administrative, development, financial, and artistic departments of the organization, as well as the management of biennial Festivals, the annual concert seasons in Boston and in New York City at the Morgan Library & Museum, the annual Chamber Opera Series, and the Festival’s Baroque Opera Recording Project. The project features a total of fourteen CDs to date on the CPO and Erato labels, six of which have been nominated for Grammy Awards for Best Opera Recording, and one awarded the Grammy. Ms. Fay is a founding Trustee of the Catalogue for Philanthropy and serves on the boards of the Cambridge Society for Early Music, Exsultemus, and Constellation Center. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of Harvard University’s Early Music Society. In November 2 021–20 22 Seaso n



M arc-A n toi n e C h arpe nt i e r

Les Plaisirs de Versailles Les Arts Florissants


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2001, Ms. Fay was named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture as a result of her significant contribution to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world. In June 2003, she received the distinguished Arion Award from the Cambridge Society of Early Music for her “outstanding contributions to musical culture.” And, in June 2011, the Board of Directors of Early Music America named the Boston Early Music Festival, Kathleen Fay, Executive Director, as the 2011 recipient of the Howard Mayer Brown Award, for lifetime achievement in the field of early music. The BEMF Board of Directors established the permanent Kathleen Fay Leadership Fund in February 2017, in recognition of her thirty-year anniversary leading BEMF. Ms. Fay is a widely respected impresario and promoter of early music in North America and Europe. She holds graduate degrees in Piano Performance and Music Teaching from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music.

A B OUT THE B E M F VOCAL E NS E M BLE Baritone Jesse Blumberg enjoys a busy schedule of opera, concerts, and recitals, in repertoire from the Renaissance to the 21st century. He has performed featured roles at Minnesota Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Atlanta Opera, Boston Early Music Festival, Opera Atelier, and at London’s Royal Festival Hall. Jesse has sung major concert works with American Bach Soloists, Boston Baroque, Apollo’s Fire, Oratorio Society of New York, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Early Music Vancouver, and on Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series, and has made recital appearances with the New York Festival of Song, Marilyn Horne Foundation, and Mirror Visions Ensemble. His recordings include Bach Cantatas with Montréal Baroque, Rosenmüller in Exile with ACRONYM, Winterreise with pianist Martin Katz, St. John Passion with Apollo’s Fire, and Steffani, Charpentier, Handel, Lalande, and Graupner operas with Boston Early Music Festival. Jesse is also the founding artistic director of Five Boroughs Music Festival in New York City, and in 2021 joined the faculty of Cleveland Institute of Music as a guest instructor of voice. His website is at Soprano Amanda Forsythe sang Eurydice on Boston Early Music Festival’s 2015 Grammywinning recording of Charpentier’s La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers, and earned widespread acclaim for her albums of Handel arias with Apollo’s Fire (Avie) and Gluck’s Orfeo with Philippe Jaroussky (Erato). With BEMF, she has performed operas by Campra, Steffani, Pergolesi, Handel, Charpentier, and Monteverdi, many of which are available on recording. Other opera engagements have included roles for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro; and the major houses of Geneva, Munich, Seattle, Rome, Berlin, and Philadelphia. Other career highlights have included concerts with Boston Symphony under Andris 2 0 21–20 22 Seaso n


“This is a

ne” o t s e il m y r o t la e rev e ramophon —G

George Frideric Handel



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Nelsons, Los Angeles Philharmonic with Susanna Mälkki, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia with Sir Antonio Pappano, Chicago Symphony with Nicholas Kraemer, Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and Philharmonia Baroque with Nicholas McGegan. She performs regularly with Tafelmusik, Handel and Haydn Society, Apollo’s Fire, Les Talens Lyriques, and Boston Baroque. Forthcoming engagements include her début with New York Philharmonic in Messiah and engagements with Music of the Baroque, Boston Baroque, and NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover. Nathan Medley has emerged in recent years as one of the leading younger-generation countertenors, with notable success internationally in concert and opera. Highlights include débuts with the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle, San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, English National Opera, The Lucerne Festival, St. Louis Symphony, Pacific MusicWorks, Miami Bach Society, Opera Omaha, and at Carnegie Hall, the Barbican in London, and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. In May 2012 he made his professional début premiering the John Adams oratorio The Gospel According to the Other Mary, which he has subsequently recorded with both the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Berlin Philharmonic. He performs throughout the U.S. with his early music ensemble, Echoing Air. Mr. Medley has worked with Peter Sellars, Catherine Turocy, Gilbert Blin, Ellen Hargis, Gustavo Dudamel, David Robertson, John Harbison, James Darrah, Markus Stenz, John Adams, Stephen Stubbs, and Webb Wiggins since graduating from Oberlin Conservatory. Danielle Reutter-Harrah has performed with Boston Early Music Festival, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Opera, California Bach Society, Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, and Early Music Vancouver, among others. Her favorite past performances include Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (Melanto) and Orfeo (La Musica/ Messaggiera), Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (Dido/ Belinda), Bach’s Magnificat (soprano/alto soloist) and St. Matthew Passion (alto soloist), and Handel’s Messiah (soprano/alto soloist). Most recently, she joined the Whidbey Island Music Festival for a Schubert program with harp, guitar, and violin, as well as a concert of arias by Bach, Telemann, and Krieger. She joins Pacific MusicWorks during the holiday season for their annual Navidad! concert featuring underperformed music from Central and South America. She sings frequently with Seattle’s Byrd Ensemble and teaches privately. Danielle received her BM from the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music and her MM from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Aaron Sheehan regularly performs in the United States, South America, and Europe. He enjoys a reputation as a first-rate interpreter of the works of Bach, Handel, and Mozart, and sang the title role in Boston Early Music Festival’s Grammy Award– winning recording of Charpentier’s opera La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers. He has performed concerts at Tanglewood, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Washington National Cathedral, the Early Music Festivals of Boston (BEMF), San Francisco, Vancouver, Washington D.C., Carmel, 2 021–20 22 Seaso n


“Absolutely superb.” —MusicWe

b Internat io


M ic h e l-R i ch a r d d e L al and e

Les Fontaines de Versailles Le Concert d’Esculape


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Regensburg, and the Halle Handel Festival, and with American Bach Soloists, Boston Baroque, Handel and Haydn Society, Opera Lafayette, Pacific MusicWorks, Philharmonia Baroque, and Tafelmusik. His roles with BEMF include L’Amour and Apollon in Lully’s Psyché, the title roles in Charpentier’s Actéon, Monteverdi’s Orfeo, Steffani’s Orlando generoso, and Handel’s Acis and Galatea, Demetrius in Graupner’s Antiochus und Stratonica, Apollon in Versailles: Portrait of a Royal Domain, Orfeo in Campra’s Le Carnaval de Venise, Eurimaco in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, and Liberto/Soldato in L’incoronazione di Poppea. With a voice of “extraordinary suppleness and beauty” (New York Times), Grammy-nominated soprano Teresa Wakim won First Prize at the International Soloist Competition for Early Music, and has performed under the batons of Roger Norrington, Harry Christophers, Martin Haselböck, Ton Koopman, and Nicholas McGegan. Solo engagements include Bach’s Mass in B Minor, St. John Passion, and Magnificat with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Bach’s Wedding Cantata with the Cleveland Orchestra, Bach’s Missa Brevis with the San Francisco Symphony, Bach’s Magnificat and St. Matthew Passion with Wiener Akademie Orchester, Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate with the Handel and Haydn Society and New World Symphony, and Handel’s Messiah with the Charlotte, San Antonio, Tucson, Alabama, and Houston Symphonies. In addition, she performs often with Apollo’s Fire, Pacific MusicWorks, Boston Baroque, and the Boston Early Music Festival, with whom she has recorded multiple acclaimed recordings, including the 2015 Grammy-winning La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers by Marc-Antoine Charpentier. Bass-baritone Douglas Williams has appeared in Boston Early Music Festival operas, concerts, and recordings since 2003 when he was a student at the New England Conservatory. He then went on to train at the Yale School of Music and Tanglewood Music Festival, and lived for a few years in New York City before moving to Berlin, where he currently resides. Douglas has appeared with the Munich Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Houston Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Salzburg Camerata, and NDR Radiophilharmonie. In opera, his repertoire includes Monteverdi, Handel, Mozart, Puccini, and Stravinsky, with directors and conductors such as Mark Morris, Sasha Waltz, James Darrah, Barbara Hannigan, Simon Rattle, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and Nicholas McGegan. This season Douglas appears with the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Atelier, Le Concert Spirituel, and Opéra de Tours. Douglas is also a writer and performer and during the pandemic lockdowns created an online audio play entitled The Compound. The Boston Early Music Festival Vocal Ensemble débuted in November of 2008 in Boston with John Blow’s Venus and Adonis and Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Actéon. The 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 2 021–20 22 Seaso n


Photo: Rolf Schoellkopf

of “Nothing short

revelatory.” —Gramop


Chri stop h G r au pne r

Antiochus und Stratonica ALSO AVAILABLE

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Stubbs. The BEMF Vocal and Chamber Ensemble’s début recording of Charpentier’s Actéon, on the CPO label, was released in November 2010. Subsequent CPO releases include Blow’s Venus and Adonis in June 2011, the Charpentier opera double bill of La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers and La Couronne de Fleurs in February 2014, which won the Grammy Award in 2015 for Best Opera Recording and the 2015 Echo Klassik Opera Recording of the Year (17th/18th Century Opera), Handel’s Acis and Galatea in November 2015, Charpentier’s Les Plaisirs de Versailles and Les Arts Florissants, which was nominated for a Grammy in 2019, and Lalande’s Les Fontaines de Versailles and Le Concert d’Esculape in September 2020. The BEMF Vocal Ensemble has mounted successful tours of its chamber opera productions, including a fourcity North American Tour of 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.

A B OUT THE B E M F Cha mber E NS E M BLE Doug Balliett is a composer, instrumentalist, and poet based in New York City. The New York Times has described his poetry as “brilliant and witty” (Clytie and the Sun), his bass playing as “elegant” (Shawn Jaeger’s In Old Virginny), and his compositions as “vivid, emotive, with contemporary twists” (Actaeon). Popular new music blog I Care if You Listen has critiqued Mr. Balliett’s work as “weird in the best possible way” (A Gnostic Passion) and “light-hearted yet dark…it had the audience laughing one minute and in tears the next…” (Pyramus and Thisbe). He hosted a weekly show on New York Public Radio for three years, and was a titled member of the San Antonio Symphony for five. He teaches historical performance and a Beatles course at The Juilliard School, and composes weekly cantatas for a Roman Catholic Church on the lower east side of NYC. With a constant stream of commissions and regular performances in America and Europe, Mr. Balliett has been identified as a voice for his generation. Violoncellist Phoebe Carrai, a native Bostonian, completed her post-graduate studies in Austria with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, after studying with Lawrence Lesser and receiving her B.M. and M.M. at New England Conservatory of Music. She became a member of Musica Antiqua Köln in 1982, making over 40 recordings for Deutsche Grammophon and touring the world. Ms. Carrai taught for sixteen years at the Universität der Künste Berlin in Germany, and is presently on the faculties of The Juilliard School and the Longy School of Music. She started the New Year’s Resolution Baroque Cello Bootcamp fifteen years ago and it is still one of her greatest joys each year! She also teaches many summer courses and workshops. Along with her solo and chamber music concerts, she performs regularly with Philharmonia Baroque, the Arcadian Academy, Juilliard Baroque, the Boston Early Music Festival, and the Göttingen Festival Orchestra. Ms. Carrai has made three solo recordings with Avie Records; the latest is Out of Italy. She plays on an Italian violoncello from circa 1690. Described as “a tireless force of musical curiosity, skill, and enthusiasm” and “the one to up the ante” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), Sarah Darling enjoys a varied musical career as a performer, educator, and musical co-conspirator on viola and Baroque violin. She is a member of the Grammy-nominated selfconducted orchestra A Far Cry, as well as Boston Baroque, Musicians of the Old Post Road, Emmanuel 2 021–20 22 Seaso n


Music, the Boston Ballet Orchestra, Les Bostonades, Newton Baroque, the Boston Camerata, the Boston Early Music Festival, and the Carmel Bach Festival. Sarah studied at Harvard, Juilliard, Amsterdam, Freiburg, and New England Conservatory, working with James Dunham, Karen Tuttle, Wolfram Christ, Nobuko Imai, and Kim Kashkashian. She has recorded old and new music for Linn, Paladino, Azica, MSR, Centaur, and Crier Records, plus a solo album on Naxos. Sarah is active as a teacher and coach, relishing the opportunity to “translate” between musical worlds while serving on the faculty of the Longy School of Music and co-directing the Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra. Maxine Eilander has had a thirty-year career performing on historical harps throughout Europe and the United States. She is the harpist for Pacific MusicWorks in Seattle and the Boston Early Music Festival. Recordings featuring Maxine as a soloist include Handel’s Harp, released on ATMA, with all of Handel’s obbligato music written for the harp, including his famous harp concerto, which she has also recorded with Tafelmusik (A Baroque Feast, Analekta). The release of William Lawes’ Harp Consorts on ATMA garnered much favorable press, including five stars from Goldberg Magazine. Other recordings include Sonata al Pizzico, Italian music for harp and Baroque guitar with duo partner Stephen Stubbs (ATMA), and Teatro Lirico, released on the ECM label. In 2012, she was invited to perform Handel’s Harp Concerto at the prestigious World Harp Congress in Vancouver. Maxine is adjunct professor of historical harps at the Thornton School of Music, USC. She also teaches in her home studio in Santa Clarita, California, as well as online Zoom sessions. Together with Stephen Stubbs she has begun publishing music through Anna Griffis, viola, made her concerto début with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and has performed recitals in Mexico, Turkey, Austria, Taiwan, and throughout North America. She is a member of the New Bedford Symphony (principal) and Albany Symphony, and plays with Emmanuel Music, Boston Baroque, Les Bostonades, Boston Lyric Opera, Blue Heron, and Rhode Island Philharmonic. Anna performs with and is the executive director of the new music group the Ludovico Ensemble, and co-founded Trio Speranza, prizewinners at the EMA Baroque Competition. She teaches and coaches chamber music at Tufts University, the Dana Hall School of Music, and the New School of Music in Cambridge, and oversees public relations for Tufts Music. Anna studied at Lawrence University, the Hartt School, the Tanglewood Music Center, and Boston University. She has her BM in violin performance and completed her MM and PD on viola. She lives in the great neighborhood of Lower Allston with her bassoonist husband and their cat, Pig. Violinist Emily Dahl Irons is an active performer known for her inventive and intuitive style. She enjoys a diverse career ranging from Broadway musicals to Baroque opera. Performing works from the most intimate to the most grand, career highlights include a Beethoven-themed salon concert using an 1807 19

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Broadwood piano and the St. Matthew Passion at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Recognized throughout Boston for her poised and gracious sound, Emily can be heard with the Boston Early Music Festival, Handel and Haydn Society, and Les Bostonades, among others. Violinist Jesse Irons enjoys a busy and excitingly diverse musical life in and around his home city of Boston. He is the Associate Concertmaster of Boston Baroque and he appears regularly with the Handel and Haydn Society, the Boston Early Music Festival, and with numerous small ensembles including Sarasa and Musicians of the Old Post Road. He has recently appeared as soloist with Boston Baroque, Newton Baroque, Chicago’s Baroque Band, and the City Orchestra of Hong Kong. A member and co-artistic director of the multi-Grammy-nominated ensemble A Far Cry, he has appeared in concert across North America, Europe, and Central and Southeast Asia. Jesse’s playing has been described as “insinuating” by the New York Times, and he’s pretty sure they meant it in a good way. As an educator, Jesse has worked with students on entrepreneurship and chamber music at MIT, Yale, Stanford, Eastman, Peabody, and New England Conservatory. Laura Jeppesen studied at the Hamburg Hochschule and the Brussels Conservatory and received a Master’s degree from Yale University. She has been a Woodrow Wilson Designate, a Fulbright Scholar, and a fellow of the Bunting Institute at Harvard. A prominent member of Boston’s early music community, she has long associations with The Boston Museum Trio, Boston Baroque, the Handel and Haydn Society, the Boston Early Music Festival, and Aston Magna. She has performed as soloist with conductors Christopher Hogwood, Edo de Waart, Seiji Ozawa, Craig Smith, Martin Pearlman, Harry Christophers, Grant Llewellyn, and Bernard Haitink. She has an extensive discography, including the gamba sonatas of J. S. Bach and music of Marin Marais, Buxtehude, Rameau, Telemann, and Clérambault. She has won awards of special distinction in teaching at Harvard in 2015 and 2019 and she is a 2017 recipient of a Mellon grant for innovative teaching at Wellesley College. Andrew Koutroubas is a multi-instrumentalist specializing in Baroque violoncello. He is an active performer and teacher interested in music spanning from antiquity to the present. A native New Englander, Andrew has performed with Boston Camerata, Horszowski Trio, Ars Lyrica Houston, New England Symphony, New Hampshire Philharmonic, Du Bois Orchestra, Fenway Quartet, and Boston String Quartet. He enjoys intimate, rural concert settings and has often been heard performing the Bach cello suites 2 021–20 22 Seaso n


and other solo violoncello repertoire in town halls, taverns, and churches throughout Southern New Hampshire. With a passionate curiosity for the cross-cultural influences of folk and art music, Andrew travelled to the village of Xoudetsi, on the island of Crete, to study music of different modal traditions where he received certificates in modal music and Cretan lyra. A motivating factor for Andrew’s musical activities comes from a desire to share the healing qualities of music and help facilitate inward sensitivity. Bringing service to the soul in ways only music is capable is Andrew’s goal as a musician. Violinist Johanna Novom appears with ensembles internationally as a soloist, principal, chamber, and orchestral musician. A first prize winner of the American Bach Soloists’ International Young Artists Competition, Johanna holds a Master’s degree in Historical Performance from Oberlin Conservatory. She is a member of Diderot String Quartet and ACRONYM, and has been concertmaster of Apollo’s Fire and principal at Washington National Cathedral Baroque Orchestra. Johanna also performs with ensembles such as Trinity Wall Street Baroque Orchestra, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Tafelmusik, American Bach Soloists, The Clarion Orchestra, Opera Lafayette, and New York Baroque Incorporated. Recent festival engagements include the Carmel Bach Festival, Tanglewood, and the BBC Proms Festival. Johanna was a 2010–2011 fellowship member of the Yale Baroque Ensemble. Cynthia Roberts is one of America’s leading Baroque violinists, appearing as soloist, concertmaster, and recitalist throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. She is a faculty member of The Juilliard School and also teaches at the Curtis Institute, University of North Texas, and the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute. She has given master classes at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Indiana University, Eastman, the Cleveland Institute, Cornell, Rutgers, Minsk Conservatory, Leopold-Mozart-Zentrum Augsburg, Shanghai Conservatory, Vietnam National Academy of Music, and for the Jeune Orchestre Atlantique in France. She performs regularly with the Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Smithsonian Chamber Players, Tafelmusik, and the Boston Early Music Festival. She has performed as concertmaster of Les Arts Florissants and appeared with Bach Collegium Japan, Orchester Wiener Akademie, the London Classical Players, and the Taverner Players. She was featured as soloist and concertmaster on the soundtrack of the Touchtone Pictures film Casanova. Her recording credits include Sony, CPO, and Deutsche Harmonia Mundi. Michael Sponseller is recognized as one of the outstanding American harpsichordists of his generation. A highly diversified career brings him to festivals and concert venues all around the world in recital, concerto soloist, and active continuo performer on harpsichord, organ, and fortepiano. After studies at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music with Lisa Goode Crawford and Royal Conservatoire The Hague, he garnered prizes at the International 21

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Harpsichord Competitions of Montréal and Bruges, including First Prizes at both American Bach Soloists and Jurow International Harpsichord Competitions, all before the age of 25. Since then, Mr. Sponseller appears regularly as harpsichordist and continuo organist with such Baroque ensembles as Aston Magna, Washington Bach Consort, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Atalante, Tragicomedia, and Pacific MusicWorks, and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He is a regular presence at Boston’s Emmanuel Music Bach Cantata Series. In 2014, he became Associate Director of Bach Collegium San Diego. Mr. Sponseller can be heard on over 20 recordings from CPO, Avie, Delos, Centaur, Eclectra, and Naxos. Praised by critics for playing that is “as exciting as it is beautiful,” and for “livewire intensity” that is both “memorably demonic” and “delightfully effective,” violinist Katherine Winterstein enjoys a wide range of musical endeavors, as a chamber musician, orchestral musician, soloist, and teacher. Ms. Winterstein is the concertmaster of the Vermont Symphony, the associate concertmaster of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and she is co-concertmaster of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. In recent seasons she has performed as concertmaster of the Palm Beach Opera, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and also performs regularly with the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, and A Far Cry. She is a member of the Hartt String Quartet, the Aurea Ensemble, and the Craftsbury Chamber Players of Vermont. She has appeared as soloist with several orchestras. She served on the performance faculty of Middlebury College from 2002 to 2015, joined the faculty of the Hartt School of Music in 2011, and began teaching at Brown University in 2015. The Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble was established in October of 2008, and delighted the public a month later at the inauguration of the Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Opera Series, which débuted in Boston with a production of John Blow’s Venus and Adonis and Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Actéon. The BEMF Chamber Ensemble is an intimate subset of the BEMF Orchestra. Depending upon the size and scale of a project, the BEMF Chamber Ensemble is led by one or both of BEMF’s Artistic Directors, Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, or by BEMF’s Orchestra Director Robert Mealy, and features the best Baroque instrumentalists from around the world. The BEMF Chamber Ensemble’s third CD on the CPO label, the Charpentier opera double bill of La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers and La Couronne de Fleurs, won the Grammy Award in 2015 for Best Opera Recording. Their fifth CD, Steffani’s Duets of Love and Passion, featuring sopranos Amanda Forsythe and Emőke Baráth, tenor Colin Balzer, and baritone Christian Immler, was released in September 2017 in conjunction with a six-city tour of North America, and received a Diapason d’Or. Their sixth CD—of Johann Sebastiani’s 1663 Matthäus Passion—was recorded immediately prior to their presenting a concert of the work at the prestigious Musikfest Bremen, and was released in February 2018. The seventh CD, a return to Charpentier featuring Les Plaisirs de Versailles and Les Arts Florissants, was nominated for a Grammy in 2019, and the eighth, Lalande’s Les Fontaines de Versailles and Le Concert d’Esculape, was released in September 2020.

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Si apra al riso ogni labro Aria. Soprano. Si apra al riso ogni labro E si racchiuda ogni pupilla al pianto.

Aria. Soprano. Let every mouth be opened to smiles And every eye be closed to tears.

Recitativo, Arioso & Duetto. Alto Di giubilo cotanto Chi fia giocondo fabro?

Recitative, Arioso & Duet. Alto Who is the joyful creator Of such great jubilation?

Soprano La torbida tempesta Raserenar conviene D’ogni cura molesta E spezzar le catene Ch’il primo genitor ci pose al piè.

Soprano He becalms The turbulent tempest Of all our troubling cares And will break the chains Which our first father placed upon our feet.

Alto & Basso Perché, perché?

Alto & Bass Why? Why?

Soprano La cagion d’ogni gioia è il gran Natale Di fanciullo Reale A cui gl’astri più belli ornan le chiome.

Soprano The cause of all this joy is the great birth Of a royal child Whose tresses are adorned by the most beautiful stars.

Alto & Basso Come, come?

Alto & Bass How? How?

Soprano Quel ch’al fato dà legge, Quel che dà il volo ai venti, Il corso all’acque, Quello ch’il mondo regge, Sotto povero tetto or ora nacque, E in sembianza di tenero bambino Il suo Corpo divin D’humanità vestì.

Soprano He who rules over fate, He who gives flight to the winds, And the rivers their course, He who rules the world, Is born today, in a humble manger; And in the form of a tender baby Has clothed his divine body In human flesh.

Alto & Basso Chi, chi?

Alto & Bass Who? Who?


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Soprano Vostra stupida mente Non si confonda più; Quello ch’è nato è il Redentor Gesù!

Soprano Let your clouded minds No longer be confused; He who is born is Jesus, our Savior!

Alto Oh fortunato aviso,

Alto Oh glad tidings,

Basso O prospera novella!

Bass Oh happy news!

Alto Sì, sì, si apra ogni labro al riso!

Alto Yes, let every mouth be opened to smiles!

Alto & Basso Sù, sù, al canto si sciolga ogni favella!

Alto & Bass Come, let every tongue be loosened to sing!



Madrigale à 3. O, di notte felice e beata Ombra amata, Gradito orrore in cui sorge E vita à noi porge Delle stelle il Supremo Fattore!

Madrigale à 3. Oh beloved shadows Of the happy, blessed night, Welcome darkness from which The supreme creator of the stars emerges To give us life!



Aria – Recitativo – Arioso. Soprano. Con insoliti e chiari splendori Al Natale del Rè delle sfere Ogni tenebra par che s’indori E scintillin le nubi più nere. Le caligini oscure il ciel disgombra, All’apparir del sol sparisce ogn’ombra.

Aria – Recitative – Arioso. Soprano. With extraordinary and luminous splendor At the birth of the king of heaven, Every darkness turns to gold And the blackest cloud sparkles. The heavens are cleared of dark mists, And at sunrise, all shadows vanish.

Aria. Basso. Della gregge mansueta Fida turba conduttrice, Godi pur festosa e lieta Ad annuncio sì felice!

Aria. Bass. The throng of the faithful Lead the docile flock To rejoice, festive and happy, At such joyous tidings!

Madrigale à 3. Temer più non lice D’arciera severa Il colpo mortale: Spezza al nascer di Dio Morte lo strale.

Madrigale à 3. Fear no more The fatal blow Of the merciless archer: The birth of God Breaks the arrow of death.

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Aria – Recitativo – Arioso. Soprano. Or mirate il gran Tonante Ch’humanato pargoleggia E nel fieno hà la sua reggia Ch’ha nel Ciel soglio stellante! Gl’occhi volgete à Dio ch’à voi si svela, Quindi ardete per Lui, s’ei per voi gela!

Aria – Recitative – Arioso. Soprano. Now see the great Thunderer In the form of a human baby Holding court in the hay Whose starry throne is in Heaven! Turn your eyes to God who reveals himself to you, Then burn with love for Him, who freezes for you!

Aria – Recitativo – Arioso. Alto. All’ignudo Redentore, Se non fosse troppo angusto E di colpe così onusto, Offrirei per cuna il core, E col foco de caldi sospir miei Le fredde membra sue riscalderei.

Aria – Recitative – Arioso. Alto. To the naked Redeemer, If it were not so poor And so full of sin, I would offer my heart as a cradle, And with the flame of my hot sighs Warm his cold limbs.

Aria – Recitativo – Arioso. Basso. Con quel gel ch’il sen gl’agghiaccia Vibra altrui celeste arsura, Ond’avvien ch’ogn’alma pura Dolcemente si disfaccia. Ei regge il mondo e pur vagisce infante,

Aria – Recitative – Arioso. Bass. From that ice which freezes his heart He sends to others a heavenly fire, So that every pure soul Melts in sweetness. He rules the world, and yet whimpers as a baby, He holds lightning in his hands, and yet he trembles.

Ha le saette in mano ed è tremante. Duetto. Soprano & Basso. Mentre ingemmano il suo viso Vive perle ruggiadose, Da sue lagrime pretiose Hà il natale il nostro riso. E mentre ei dà principio à un mesto pianto Il nostro lagrimar termina intanto.

Duet. Soprano & Bass. While living dewy pearls Bedeck his face, From his precious tears Our smiles are born. And while he begins a dark lament, Our own tears come to an end.

Aria. Soprano. E non si spezza a tant’amore L’aspra durezza d’ingrato core?

Aria. Soprano. And is it not broken with such love, The bitter hardness of ungrateful hearts?



Madrigale à 3. O gran bontà del regnator dell’Etra: Iddio si fa di carne e l’huom di pietra!

Madrigale à 3. O great goodness of the ruler of the heavens: God made himself flesh and men make themselves stone!


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Ah! troppo è ver Sinfonia


Lucifero. Recitativo. Ah! troppo è ver che sempre Ad onta di Satan, s’aggiran gl’astri

Lucifer. Recitative. Ah! It is too true that always, To the injury of Satan, the stars agitate themselves, And in a tyrannical manner Shake out a harsh disaster to my downfall!

E con tiranne tempre Scuotono a’ danni miei fieri disastri! Aria. E sarà chi non s’accinga, Miei seguace, alla vendetta E con bellica saetta Contro il nemico Ciel l’odio non spinga?

Aria. And will there be anyone who will not join me, Oh my followers, who to vengeance And with arrows of war Will not thrust forward in hatred against Heaven our enemy?

Recitativo. Sa versar nel mio core aspro veleno Un insolito suon d’eteree corde: Con melodia concorde Vibra all’orecchie mie dardi canori, Onde tem’io che dal superno regno, Del Padre ad obedir l’ostil disegno Non scenda il Figlio a tormentarmi il seno. Ite pronti a discior del vero i nodi E adoprate a mio pro l’armi e le frodi!

Recitative. Bitter poison pours into my heart An unwelcome sound of eternal strings: With harmonious melody Shoots singing arrows into my ears, Such that I fear that, from the upper realm, Obeying his Father’s hostile design, The Son may descend to torment my heart. Go quickly to undo the knots of truth, And take up, in support of me, your arms and your deceits!

Coro di Furie. Al cenno orribile Del Rè dell’Erebo Corran le Furie E con terribile Valore intrepido Scaglino fulmini.

Chorus of Furies. At the horrible orders Of the king of the underworld The Furies run And with terrifying Intrepid valor Launch their thunderbolts.

Lucifero. Recitativo. Ite a spiar del suoi gl’antri più chiusi E del fato i secreti or sian delusi.

Lucifer. Recitative. Go and peer into the sealed-off caves And find the secrets of fate, or be deluded!

Angelo. Aria. Su pastori, alla gioia, al diletto Ogni petto Disposto si renda E risplenda Tra vivi contenti. Or che, spenti Di Febo gl’ardori

Angel. Aria. Get up shepherds, to joy, to delight Let every heart Be opened, And bask In lively contentment. Now that Phoebus has run his course

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Fra i rigori D’un tetto gelato, Umanato Risiede il Sol divino.

Amidst the hardships Of a frozen abode In the human heart Resides the divine Sun.

Recitativo. Al celeste Bambino, Che in albergo brutal scioglie i vagiti, Con ossequi graditi Tributo d’umilità porga il mortale E si palesi al mondo il gran Natale.

Recitative. To the heavenly child Who cries in a lowly manger With ready thanks People bring their humble tributes And reveal to the world the great birth!

Pastore Secondo. Aria. Quai alto concento D’angelico accento Consiglia a gioir? Qual face stellante Di fausto sembiante N’invita a seguir?

Second Shepherd. Aria. What high harmony Of angelic singing Tells us to rejoice? What burning star With propitious aspect Invites us to follow it?

Recitativo. Andiam là dove il fato Ha dentro un vil tugurio il Ciel traslato,

Compagni, che miro?

Recitative. Let us go where fate Has transubstantiated Heaven into a humble manger, And changed the fiery heavens into a rustic mansion, Companions, what are we seeing?

Maria Vergine. Aria. Sovrano mio bene, Mia spene, mio cor, Quest’alma Ch’in calma Gioisce per te, Dal seno materno L’interno suo amor Con piogge serene Riversa al tuo piè. E con dovuto omaggio Dell’alba tua beata adora il raggio.

Virgin Mary. Aria. My sovereign love, My hope, my heart, This soul Which calmly Rejoices for you In her mother’s heart Her innermost love In a light shower Lays at your feet And with devoted homage Worships the rays of your blessed sunrise.

Recitativo. Concedi ai falli umani ampio perdono E sia mio priego intercessor del dono.

Recitative. Give to human failings an ample pardon And may my prayers be an intercessor for that gift.

E in rustica magion cangia l’Empiro.


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Pastore Primo. Recitativo. Al riverito piede Del maestoso Infante Offriam d’affetto umil votiva fede, Che dalle sacre piante Del Regnator dell’Etra Supplicante desir mercede impetra.

First Shepherd. Recitative. At the revered feet Of the majestic infant Let us offer our humble vows of faith, Which by the sacred tears Of the King of Heaven Beg to obtain his mercy.

Aria. Deh, ricevi i nostri voti Che devoti Ti portiam, supremo Nume. Né dal tuo provido lume Si permetta Che negletta Di pastorale stuol sia la preghiera, Ma la tua benigna sfera Volga a noi Sempiterno il favor de’ giri suoi.

Aria. Ah, receive our vows. Which devotedly We bring you, supreme God. Under your providential light, If it be permitted To ignore That these prayers come from a mere shepherd. May your benign spheres Incline toward us The eternal favor of their revolutions.



San Gioseppe. Recitativo. Del nostro amato figlio La propizia bontà L’infinita pietà, Alle suppliche vostre inclina il ciglio E con prodiga sorte Dalla clemenza sua v’apre le porte.

Saint Joseph. Recitative. Of our beloved son, The propitious goodness And infinite mercy, To your supplications inclines his brow, And with the prodigious destiny Of his clemency opens the door for you.



Coro. Madrigale à 5. Or che luci sì belle Con fulgori soavi Trattan del Ciel le chiavi E trionfan le stelle, Non san coi lampi lor pugnar gli abissi,

Chorus. Madrigale à 5. Now, a light so beautiful With sweet flashes of lightning Brings from heaven the key And the stars triumph: With their own light they knew not how to battle the abyss, But with His light, the stars will never be eclipsed.

Ché soggetti non son gli astri all’ecclissi.

—Translations by Stephen Stubbs

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2019 | Orlando generoso

Make a Difference Boson Early Music Fesival Planned Giving

Play a vital and permanent role in BEMF’s future with a planned gift. Your generous support will create unforgettable musical experiences for years to come, and may provide you and your loved ones with considerable tax benefits. Join the BEMF ORPHEUS SOCIETY by investing in the future of the Boston Early Music Festival through a charitable annuity, bequest, or other planned gift. With many ways to give and to direct your gift, our staff will work together with you and your advisors to create a legacy that is personally meaningful to you. To learn more, please call us at 617-661-1812, email us at, or visit us online at 29

B osto n E a r ly Music F estival

Aaron Sheehan in BEMF’s 2017 production of Campra’s Le Carnaval de Venise Photo: Kathy Wittman

Boson Early Music Fesival International Baroque Opera • Celebrated Concerts • World-Famous Exhibition

The Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) is universally recognized as a leader in the field of early music. Since its founding in 1980 by leading practitioners of historical performance in the United States and abroad, BEMF has promoted early music through a variety of diverse programs and activities, including an annual concert series that brings early music’s brightest stars to the Boston and New York concert stages, and the biennial weeklong Festival and Exhibition, recognized as “the world’s leading festival of early music” (The Times, London). Through its programs BEMF has earned its place as North America’s premier presenting organization for music of the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods and has secured Boston’s reputation as “America’s early music capital” (Boston Globe).

Inter natio nal B a roq ue Ope ra One of BEMF’s main goals is to unearth and present lesser-known Baroque operas performed by the world’s leading musicians armed with the latest information on period singing, orchestral performance, scenic design, costuming, dance, and staging. BEMF operas reproduce the Baroque’s stunning palette of sound by bringing together today’s leading operatic superstars and a wealth of instrumental talent from across the globe to one stage for historic presentations, all zestfully led from the pit by the BEMF Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, and creatively reimagined for the stage by BEMF Opera Director Gilbert Blin. 2 021–20 22 Seaso n

The twenty-first biennial Boston Early Music Festival in June 2021 took place virtually, and featured a video presentation of André Campra’s extraordinary Le Carnaval de Venise from the June 2017 Festival. The twenty-second Festival, in June 2023, will have as its centerpiece Henry Desmarest’s 1694 opera Circé from a libretto by Louise-Geneviève Gillot de Saintonge, which will feature the Boston Early Music Festival Dance Company, a troupe of dancers under the guidance of BEMF Dance Director Melinda Sullivan. BEMF introduced its Chamber Opera Series during its annual concert season in 30

November 2008, with a performance of John Blow’s Venus and Adonis and MarcAntoine Charpentier’s Actéon. The series focuses on the wealth of chamber operas composed during the Baroque period, while providing an increasing number of local opera aficionados the opportunity to attend one of BEMF’s superb offerings. Subsequent annual productions include George Frideric Handel’s Acis and Galatea, Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, combined performances of Charpentier’s La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers and La Couronne de Fleurs, Monteverdi’s Orfeo, a double bill of Pergolesi’s La serva padrona and Livietta e Tracollo, a production titled “Versailles” featuring Les Plaisirs de Versailles by Charpentier, Les Fontaines de Versailles by Michel-Richard de Lalande, and divertissements from Atys by Lully, and most recently Francesca Caccini’s Alcina, the first opera written by a woman. Acis and Galatea was revived and presented on a four-city North American Tour in early 2011, which included a performance at the American Handel Festival in Seattle, and in 2014, BEMF’s second North American Tour featured the Charpentier double bill from 2011. Amanda Forsythe in BEMF’s 2014 production of Pergolesi’s La serva padrona Photo: Kathy Wittman


BEMF has a well-established and highly successful project to record some of its groundbreaking work in the field of Baroque opera. The first three recordings in this series were all nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording, in 2005, 2007, and 2008: the 2003 Festival centerpiece Ariadne, by Johann Georg Conradi; Jean-Baptiste Lully’s Thésée; and the 2007 Festival opera, Lully’s Psyché, which was hailed by BBC Music Magazine as “superbly realized…magnificent.” In addition, the BEMF recordings of Lully’s Thésée and Psyché received Gramophone Award Nominations in the Baroque Vocal category in 2008 and 2009, respectively. BEMF’s next three recordings on the German CPO label were drawn from its Chamber Opera Series: Charpentier’s Actéon, Blow’s Venus and Adonis, and a release of Charpentier’s La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers and La Couronne de Fleurs, which won the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording and the 2015 Echo Klassik Opera Recording of the Year (17th/18th Century Opera). Agostino Steffani’s Niobe, Regina di Tebe, featuring Philippe Jaroussky and Karina Gauvin, which was released in January 2015 on the Erato/Warner Classics label in conjunction with a seven-city, four-country European concert tour of the opera, has been nominated for a Grammy Award, was named Gramophone’s Recording of the Month for March 2015, is the 2015 Echo Klassik World Premiere Recording of the Year, and has received a 2015 Diapason d’Or de l’Année and a 2015 Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. Handel’s Acis and Galatea was released in November 2015. In 2017, while maintaining the focus on Baroque opera, BEMF expanded the recording project to include other select Baroque vocal works: a new Steffani disc, Duets of Love and Passion, was released in B o sto n E a r ly Music F estival

September 2017 in conjunction with a sixcity North American tour, and a recording of Johann Sebastiani’s St. Matthew Passion was released in March 2018. Four Baroque opera releases followed in 2019 and 2020: a disc of Charpentier’s chamber operas Les Plaisirs de Versailles and Les Arts Florissants was released at the June 2019 Festival, and has been nominated for a Grammy Award; the 2013 Festival opera, Handel’s Almira, was released in late 2019, and received a Diapason d’Or. Lalande’s chamber opera Les Fontaines de Versailles was featured on a September 2020 release of the composer’s works; Christoph Graupner’s opera Antiochus und Stratonica was released in December 2020.

C eleb r ated C o ncerts

Some of the most thrilling musical moments at the biennial Festival occur during one of the dozen or more concerts presented around the clock, which always include the acclaimed Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra led by Orchestra Director Robert Mealy, and which often feature unique, once-in-a-lifetime collaborations and programs by the spectacular array of talent assembled for the Festival week’s events. In 1989, BEMF established an annual concert series bringing early music’s leading soloists and ensembles to the Boston concert stage to meet the growing demand for regular world-class performances of

early music’s beloved classics and newly discovered works. BEMF then expanded its concert series in 2006, when it extended its performances to New York City’s Gilder Lehrman Hall at the Morgan Library & Museum, providing “a shot in the arm for New York’s relatively modest early-music scene” (New York Times).

Wo r ld -fam ous E x hibiti on

The nerve center of the biennial Festival, the Exhibition is the largest event of its kind in the United States, showcasing nearly one hundred early instrument makers, music publishers, service organizations, schools and universities, and associated colleagues. In 2013, Mozart’s own violin and viola were displayed at the Exhibition, in their first-ever visit to the United States. Every other June, hundreds of professional musicians, students, and enthusiasts come from around the world to purchase instruments, restock their libraries, learn about recent musicological developments, and renew old friendships. For four days, they visit the Exhibition booths to browse, discover, and purchase, and attend the dozens of symposia, masterclasses, and demonstration recitals, all of which encourage a deeper appreciation of early music, and strengthen relationships between musicians, participants, and audiences.

A standing ovation for La storia di Orfeo in November 2019 Photo: Kathy Wittman

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Boson Early Music Fesival Manag ement Kathleen Fay, Executive Director Carla Chrisfield, General Manager Maria van Kalken, Assistant to the Executive Director Brian Stuart, Director of Marketing and Publicity Elizabeth Hardy, Marketing and Development Associate & Exhibition Manager Perry Emerson, Operations Manager Corey King, Box Office and Patron Services Manager Andrew Sigel, Publications Editor Nina Stern, Director of Community Engagement

Ar tistic L eader ship Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, Artistic Directors Gilbert Blin, Opera Director Robert Mealy, Orchestra Director Melinda Sullivan, Lucy Graham Dance Director

B oar d of D ir ector s Bernice K. Chen, Chairman | David Halstead, President Brit d’Arbeloff, Vice President | Lois A. Lampson, Vice President Susan L. Robinson, Vice President Adrian C. Touw, Treasurer | Peter L. Faber, Clerk Michael Ellmann | George L. Hardman | Glenn A. KnicKrehm | Miles Morgan Bettina A. Norton | Lee S. Ridgway | Ganesh Sundaram

B oar d of Over see r s Diane Britton | Gregory E. Bulger | Robert E. Kulp, Jr. | James S. Nicolson Amanda Pond | Robert Strassler | Donald E. Vaughan

B oar d of T r ustees Marty Gottron & John Felton, Co-Chairs Mary Briggs | Deborah Ferro Burke | Mary Deissler | James A. Glazier Edward B. Kellogg | John Krzywicki | Douglas M. Robbe | Jacob Skowronek

B oS t o n E a rly M usic F estival, Inc . 43 Thorndike Street, Suite 302, Cambridge, MA 02141-1764 Telephone: 617-661-1812 | Email: |

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B o sto n E a r ly M usic F estival

M ember s of the B E M F C or poratio n Jon Aaron Debra K.S. Anderson Kathryn Bertelli Mary Briggs Diane Britton Douglas M. Brooks Gregory E. Bulger Julian G. Bullitt Deborah Ferro Burke John A. Carey Anne P. Chalmers Bernice K. Chen Joel I. Cohen David Cook† Brit d’Arbeloff Vivian Day Mary Deissler Peter L. DeWolf JoAnne W. Dickinson Richard J. Dix Alan Durfee Michael Ellmann Peter L. Faber Emily C. Farnsworth Dorothy R. Fay Kathleen Fay John Felton Frances C. Fitch Claire Fontijn Randolph J. Fuller James A. Glazier Marty Gottron Carol A. Haber David Halstead

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George L. Hardman Ellen T. Harris Richard Hester Jessica Honigberg Jennifer Ritvo Hughes Edward B. Kellogg Thomas F. Kelly Glenn A. KnicKrehm Christine Kodis John Krzywicki Kathryn Kucharski Robert E. Kulp, Jr. Ellen Kushner Christopher Laconi Lois A. Lampson Thomas G. MacCracken William Magretta Bill McJohn Miles Morgan Nancy Netzer Amy H. Nicholls James S. Nicolson Bettina A. Norton Scott Offen Lorna E. Oleck Henry P.M. Paap James M. Perrin Bici Pettit-Barron Amanda Pond Melvyn Pond Paul Rabin Christa Rakich Lee S. Ridgway Michael Rigsby

Douglas M. Robbe Michael Robbins Susan L. Robinson Patsy Rogers Wendy Rolfe-Dunham Loretto Roney Thomas Roney Ellen Rosand Valerie Sarles F. Williams Sarles† David W. Scudder Andrew Sigel Jacob Skowronek Arlene Snyder Jon Solins Robert Strassler Ganesh Sundaram Adrian C. Touw Peggy Ueda Donald E. Vaughan Ingeborg von Huene Nikolaus von Huene Howard J. Wagner Benjamin D. Weiss Ruth S. Westheimer Allan Winkler Hal Winslow Christoph Wolff Arnold B. Zetcher Ellen Zetcher † deceased