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2019 Festival | June 9-16, 2019
Agostino Steffani's Orlando

Fully Staged Centerpiece Opera
Steffani's Orlando

Sunday, June 9, 2019 at 3:30pm
Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 7pm
Friday, June 14, 2019 at 7pm

Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 3:30pm

Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston, MA

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“BEMF spares no effort when it stages opera.”
—BachTrack

The Boston Early Music Festival will present the North American premiere of Agostino Steffani’s 1691 opera Orlando generoso, as the fully-staged operatic centerpiece of the June 2019 Boston Early Music Festival. Based on Ludovico Ariosto’s 16th-century epic poem, Orlando is a profound masterpiece that deconstructed medieval myths of knights and dragons to explore deeply human themes of romance, jealousy, and madness against a fantastical backdrop. In Steffani’s opera, scandal and mystery follow the valiant knight Orlando as he ventures to China in search of his love, the princess Angelica. When his affection is spurned, he spirals into self-doubt and madness, all while a palace intrigue ensues, with a pair of estranged lovers, a lecherous king, and a scheming wizard.

“Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando furioso was a rip-roaring tale of romance, intrigue, exoticism, and magic, and was as popular with Baroque audiences as Game of Thrones is today!”
–Stephen Stubbs, Musical Co-Director

Steffani’s score displays his characteristic refined theatricality and virtuosity, full of deeply expressive arias and duets that dazzled audiences for the Hanover opera when it premiered in 1691. With enchanted castles, a luxurious foreign court, and winged beasts taking to the skies, Orlando promises to be a vivid entertainment sure to delight Boston audiences as well. This fully staged production will feature gorgeous, period-inspired costumes, brilliant sets, breathtaking flying machines, and truly ravishing music.

Orlando stretched the boundaries of vocal and instrumental technique at the time, and required an all-star ensemble of Europe’s most virtuoso musicians to perform it.”
–Paul O'Dette, Musical Co-Director

VIDEO

Enjoy scenes from previous BEMF Opera productions!

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CAST

Aaron Sheehan, Orlando
Amanda Forsythe, Angelica
Emőke Baráth, Bradamante
Christopher Lowry, Ruggiero
Kacper Szelążek, Medoro
Jesse Blumberg, Atalante
Flavio Ferri-Benedetti, Galafro
Zachary Wilder, Brunello
Teresa Wakim, Melissa

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DIRECTORS

Paul O'Dette & Stephen Stubbs, Musical Directors
Gilbert Blin, Stage Director
Robert Mealy, Concertmaster
Melinda Sullivan, Dance Director
Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière, Choreographer
Anna Watkins, Costume Designer
Gilbert Blin, Set Designer
Kathleen Fay, Executive Producer

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