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“A stageful of superb soloists merged into a superb ensemble.”

The Boston Phoenix


Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 8pm

Sunday, November 28, 2010 at 3pm

New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall, Boston


Paul O’Dette, Musical Director, baroque guitar, & archlute
StubbsPaul O’Dette has been called “the clearest case of genius ever to touch his instrument” (Toronto Globe and Mail). He has given solo concerts at dozens of major international festivals across the world while maintaining an active international career as an ensemble musician. Best known for his recitals and recordings of virtuoso solo lute music, Mr. O’Dette has made more than 130 recordings, many of which have been nominated for Gramophone’s “Record of the Year” Award; The Bachelar’s Delight: Lute Music of Daniel Bacheler was nominated for a Grammy as “Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without Orchestra)” in 2006. Mr. O’Dette is also active conducting Baroque operas. In 1997, he directed performances of Luigi Rossi’s L’Orfeo with Stephen Stubbs at Tanglewood, the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF), and the Drottningholm Court Theatre in Sweden. They have since co-directed all BEMF operatic performances, including Cavalli’s Ercole Amante (1999), Lully’s Thésée (2001) and Psyché (2007), Conradi’s Ariadne (2003), Mattheson’s Boris Goudenow (2005), and Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (2009). Three of these operas have been recorded on the CPO label, and all three were nominated for a Grammy in the “Best Opera Recording” category: Ariadne in 2005, Thésée in 2007, and Psyché in 2008. Mr. O’Dette has also conducted performances of Cavalli’s Apollo e Dafne and La Virtù de’ Strali d’Amore, Clarke’s Island Princess, and Franck’s Cecrops. In addition to his activities as a performer, Paul O’Dette is an avid researcher, having worked extensively on the performance and sources of seventeenth-century Italian and English solo song, continuo practices, and lute technique. 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, Musical Director, baroque guitar, & theorbo
StubbsAfter a thirty-year career in Europe, musical director and lutenist Stephen Stubbs recently returned to his native Seattle to establish his new production company, Pacific Musicworks. The company received rave reviews in the national press for its inaugural production of Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse a patria in March 2009, which was designed and stage-directed by South African artist William Kentridge with the Handspring Puppet Company of South Africa. In the coming Pacific Musicworks season, Stubbs will conduct Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers and Handel’s Esther. With his direction of Stefano Landi’s La Morte d’Orfeo at the 1987 Bruges festival, he began his career as opera director and founded the ensemble Tragicomedia. Stubbs has been invited to direct opera productions in Europe, the U.S., Canada, and Scandinavia. Since 1997, he has co-directed the biennial Boston Early Music Festival opera, and was named permanent artistic co-director in 2003. The Festival’s recordings of Conradi’s Ariadne, Lully’s Thésée, and Lully’s Psyché, have been nominated for Grammy awards in 2005, 2007, and 2008 respectively. In the 2010–2011 season, he will co-direct performances of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Handel’s Acis and Galatea, and Steffani’s Niobe. Stephen Stubbs created the ensemble Teatro Lirico, who made their recording début in 1996 with the CD Love and Death in Venice. Their début CD on ECM was a New York Times “pick of the year” for 2006. Stubbs’s solo lute recordings include the music of J. S. Bach, S. L. Weiss, David Kellner, and Jaques St. Luc. With Baroque harpist Maxine Eilander he has recorded Sonate al Pizzico, released on ATMA in 2004. He also appears on ECM with the Dowland Project. To cultivate the singers and players of the next generation he founded an early opera course called the Accademia d’Amore in 1997; it is now in Seattle under the auspices of the Seattle Academy of Opera. He will also head a new program in early music at the Cornish College of the Arts.

Gilbert Blin, Stage Director
StubbsGilbert Blin graduated from the Sorbonne with a concentration in Rameau’s operas and their relation with the stage, an interest that he has since broadened to encompass French opera and its relation to European Baroque theater, his fields of expertise as historian, stage director, and designer. He was the first French stage director invited by the Drottningholm Theatre in Sweden: his production of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, with Arnold Östman conducting, was performed in 1998. Gilbert Blin designed and directed Vivaldi’s Orlando Furioso for the Prague State Opera in 2001, and a staged reconstruction of Vivaldi’s Rosmira fedele for Opéra de Nice in 2003. His productions also include a historically staged and designed presentation of Handel’s Teseo in 2007, and a staged version of Alessandro Scarlatti’s oratorio La Giuditta in 2008 with Ensemble Baroque de Nice, conducted by Gilbert Bezzina. An avid researcher, Mr. Blin dedicates much of his time to the history of performance, most notably of stage sets. His reconstruction of the original sets for Mozart’s Don Giovanni was presented at the Estates Theatre in Prague from 2006 to 2008. For the Boston Early Music Festival, Gilbert Blin directed Lully’s Thésée and Lully’s Psyché in 2001 and 2007 respectively. In 2008, he was appointed the Festival’s Stage Director in Residence and opened his residency with a production of the chamber operas Venus and Adonis by Blow and Actéon by Charpentier. In 2009, Gilbert Blin staged Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea and Handel’s Acis and Galatea for BEMF.

Anna Watkins, Costume Designer

StubbsAnna Watkins has been involved with costumes for the Boston Early Music Festival for eleven years, and has been in charge of every facet of the costuming for all three Chamber Opera Series productions. She studied textile design at college in London, and then went to the Slade at University College to study theater design. She has over thirty years experience organizing the production of costumes for theater, opera, and ballet, and has recently been working on productions at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She lives in South London, and when not busy enjoys pottering in the garden and feeding the birds.

Melinda Sullivan, Choreographer
StubbsMelinda Sullivan has danced in several Boston Early Music Festival productions, adding ballet mistress and choreography duties over the years. She graduated from Boston Conservatory and quickly established herself as a dynamic performer in Boston’s contemporary dance scene. At the same time, she developed a unique movement program for singers at New England Conservatory, where she has taught since 1989. She also teaches body fundamentals and dance styles at Boston University Opera Institute and Boston Conservatory. This summer, Melinda will return to Central City Opera as resident choreographer and movement coach. Her recent choreographies include ones for Central City Opera’s Young Artist Program, Molière and his Musicians for the Yale Collegium, and Hansel and Gretel and The Magic Flute at New England Conservatory. Her upcoming choreographies include new productions of Ariadne auf Naxos and Dido and Aeneas at NEC, and she will be Ballet Mistress for BEMF’s Niobe.

Abbie H. Katz, Associate Producer
Abbie H. Katz has worked extensively in the arts and has toured with artsits such as Robert Wilson, Lucinda Childs, and Merdith Monk throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Ms. Katz was General Manager for Anna Deavere Smith’s Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at Harvard University, and General Manager of The Market Theater in Cambridge. She teaches Stage and Arts Management at Suffolk University, and has been Associate Producer for the Boston Early Music Festival since 2002.