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Press Release


MEDIA ALERT: The Newberry Consort perform spellbinding selections from the Cantigas de Santa Maria in Boston and New York City

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ARTIST: The Newberry Consort (United States)
David Douglass & Ellen Hargis, co-directors

David Douglass, vielle, rebec & co-director; Ellen Hargis, soprano & co-director;
Matthew Dean, tenor & narrator; Shira Kammen, vielle & harp;
Jesse Lepkoff, Medieval flutes; Mark Rimple, citole, gittern, lute & psaltery;
Tom Zajac, bagpipe, hammer dulcimer & percussion

Exsultemus | Shannon Canavin, Artistic Director
Shannon Canavin, soprano; Pamela Dellal, mezzo-soprano;
Gerrod Pagenkopf, countertenor; Michael Barrett, tenor
WHEN: Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 7:30pm
Gilder Lehrman Hall at The Morgan Library & Museum,
225 Madison Avenue, New York, NY

Friday, February 6, 2015 at 8pm
First Church in Cambridge, Congregational, 11 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA
PROGRAM:  Rosa das Rosas: Cantigas de Santa Maria
Cantiga 42: A Virgen mui groriosa
Cantiga 40: Deus te salve, groriosa (instrumental)
Cantiga 159: Non sofre Santa Maria
Cantiga 307: Toller pod’ a Madre de Nostro Sennor (instrumental)
Cantiga 103: Quen a Virgen ben servira
Cantiga 7: Santa Maria amar
Cantiga 300: Muito deveria
Cantiga 422: Madre de Deus, ora por nos
Cantiga 423: Como podemos a Deus gradeçer
Cantiga 424: Pois que dos Reys Nostro Sennor
Cantiga 425: Alegria, alegria
Cantiga 426: Subiu ao ceo o Fillo de Deus
Cantiga 427: Todo-los bees que nos Deus
Cantiga 10: Rosa das Rosas
TICKETS: Tickets for the Cambridge performance priced at $19, $38, $49, and $66 each, and can be purchased at WWW.BEMF.ORG and 617-661-1812; a $5 discount for students, seniors, and groups is offered by calling 617-661-1812. Subscription discounts of 10% are available with the purchase of three or more programs on the 2014–2015 Concert Season.

Tickets for the New York City performance priced at $35 for Morgan members and $45 for non-members and can be purchased at and
212-685-0008, ext. 560.

The Newberry Consort has delighted audiences with provocative and ravishingly beautiful programs for nearly three decades. The ensemble returns to BEMF in a spellbinding multimedia performance of selections from the Cantigas de Santa Maria with singers from Boston’s own Exsultemus. The Cantigas, a gorgeous collection of Medieval Spanish songs in praise of the Virgin Mary that are replete with tales of saints, sinners, and miracles, come alive in a presentation incorporating projected images of the lavish illustrations from the original 13th-century manuscripts commissioned by King Alfonso X of Castile.

“As musicians we approach all the music as though it were a time capsule of human experience, and the Cantigas de Santa Maria are particularly precious artifacts of Alfonso’s life and times,” writes David Douglass and Ellen Hargis in their notes for the program. “The music is exquisitely ethereal, and evokes the indescribable essence of this great man.”

Beguiling and intelligent, provocative and classic, ravishingly beautiful and deliciously edgy: The Newberry Consort has been delighting audiences for nearly three decades. Directed by David Douglass, Newberry Musician-in-Residence, and early music diva Ellen Hargis, the ensemble plumbs the Newberry Library's vast music collection and assembles a star-studded roster of local and international artists to bring world-class performances of music from the 13th to the 18th centuries to its audiences in Chicago and on tour around the world. Affiliated with the Newberry Library Center for Renaissance Studies, the Consort also serves as an ensemble-in-residence at both the University of Chicago and Northwestern University.

David Douglass, a founding member of The Newberry Consort in 1988, was appointed the ensemble's Director and Musician-in-Residence at the Newberry Library in 2007. A regular with the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, David has also performed with the Parley of Instruments, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Concerto Palatino, The Folger Consort, and the Waverly Consort, among others. He has toured extensively, performing in festivals in Holland, Spain, England, Italy, and Germany as well as in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. He founded and directs The King's Noyse, a Renaissance violin band, to explore and reconstruct the repertoire of early string bands. Mr. Douglass has recorded extensively and, since 1991 has also served as a producer for harmonia mundi usa, overseeing recordings for Marion Verbruggen, Paul Hillier and The Theater of Voices, and Paul O'Dette, among others.

Soprano and Consort co-director Ellen Hargis is one of America’s premier early music singers, specializing in repertoire ranging from ballads to opera and oratorio. She has performed with many of the foremost period music conductors and ensembles from around the world and has appeared at many of the world's leading festivals including the Adelaide Festival (Australia), Utrecht Festival (Holland), Resonanzen Festival (Vienna), Festival Vancouver, The Monadnock Festival, Tanglewood, the Berkeley Festival and New Music America Festival. As a stage director, Ms. Hargis combines her interests in music, rhetoric, baroque gesture, and drama to create period productions with historical style and vivid human drama. She was recently named Stage Director in Residence with Haymarket Opera in Chicago, a new company specializing in period productions of early opera. A prolific recording artist, her discography of more than 50 recordings boasts the Grand Prix du Disque, the Choc du Monde, and two Grammy nominations for best opera recording.

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Recognized as the preeminent early music presenter and Baroque opera producer in North America, the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) 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 four Grammy-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 week-long Festival and Exhibition recognized as the “world’s leading festival of early music” (The Times, London). The 18th Boston Early Music Festival will take place from June 7–14, 2015, and will be highlighted by Claudio Monteverdi’s trilogy of operas: Orfeo, Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria, and L'Incoronazione di Poppea. BEMF’s Artistic Leadership includes Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, Opera Director Gilbert Blin, and Orchestra Director Robert Mealy.

The 2014–2015 Boston Early Music Festival Concert Series is presented with support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, ConstellationCenter, WGBH Radio Boston, Harpsichord Clearing House, Zuckermann Harpsichords International, and The Gregory E. Bulger Foundation.

For more information, images, press tickets, or to schedule an interview, please contact Kathleen Fay at 617-661-1812 or email