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“Musically impeccable.”

The Boston Globe

Production and Rehearsal Photos
Synopsis (PDF)
Libretto for La Couronne de Fleurs (PDF)
Libretto for La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers (PDF)
Watch an excerpt from the 2008 Chamber Opera, Charpentier's Actéon
Watch an excerpt from the 2010 Chamber Opera dress rehearsal

Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 8pm
Sunday, November 27, 2011 at 3pm

New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall, Boston

TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE! Online ordering for this concert has ended. Tickets will on go on sale from the Jordan Hall Box Office starting 90 minutes before the performance.


Paul O’Dette, Co-Musical Director
O'DettePaul O’Dette has been described as “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), Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (2009), and Steffani’s Niobe, Regina di Tebe (2011). 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 music. 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, Co-Musical Director
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. For Pacific MusicWorks, in 2012, Stubbs will conduct Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers and Handel’s Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, as well as performances of Messiah with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. 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 2011, he co-directs performances of Handel’s Acis and Galatea, Charpentier’s La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers and Steffani’s Niobe, Regina di Tebe for BEMF. 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, on the ATMA label. 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 takes place in Seattle every August. He also heads a new program in early music at the Cornish College of the Arts.

Gilbert Blin, Stage Director
BlinGilbert 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 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 La Giuditta in 2008 with Ensemble Baroque de Nice, conducted by Gilbert Bezzina. For the Boston Early Music Festival, Gilbert Blin directed Lully’s Thésée and Lully’s Psyché in 2001 and 2007 respectively. In 2008, Gilbert Blin was appointed the Festival’s Stage Director. In this role, he staged Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea in 2009, and a trilogy of English chamber operas, presented from 2008 to 2011: Blow’s Venus and Adonis, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and Handel’s Acis and Galatea. In 2011, after designing the staging and the sets of Niobe, Regina di Tebe for the Festival, Gilbert Blin is pursuing the Charpentier cycle initiated in 2008 with Actéon by creating a new production combining La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers and La Couronne de Fleurs.

Anna Watkins, Costume Designer
WatkinsAnna Watkins has been involved with Boston Early Music Festival costumes since 1999 (last century!), and has been in charge of every facet of the costuming for all four 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 in the U.K. and the U.S. She has recently been working on a revival of Faust at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and on a new production of Don Giovanni for 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
Choreographer Melinda Sullivan has danced in many Boston Early Music Festival productions,adding ballet mistress and choreography duties over fifteen years. She graduated fromBoston Conservatory and quickly established herself as adynamic performer in Boston’s contemporary dance scene. She then studied Renaissance dance with Ingrid Brainard and danced with Ken Pierce Baroque Dance Company. At the same time she developed a unique movement and dance program for singers at New England Conservatory (NEC), where she has taught in the opera department since 1989. Melinda is also resident choreographer and movement coach at Central City Opera, and faculty at the Boston University Opera Institute and at Boston Conservatory. Her recent choreographies include Dido and Aeneas for BEMF and Orpheus in the Underworld at NEC. Upcoming choreographies include those for La Perichole at NEC and Don Giovanni at Boston Conservatory.