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MEDIA ALERT: BEMF presents Gramophone Award-winning vocal ensemble Orlando Consort in captivating medieval masterworks of Guillaume de Machaut - Friday, February 12 in Harvard Square

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ARTIST: Orlando Consort (United Kingdom)

Matthew Venner, countertenor
Mark Dobell, tenor
Angus Smith, tenor
Donald Greig, baritone
WHEN: Friday, February 12, 2015 at 8pm
First Church in Cambridge, Congregational, 11 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA
PROGRAM:  Guillaume de Machaut: Portrait of a Genius
Machaut: Selections from Le Voir Dit
Machaut: Plange, regni respublica
Machaut: S'amour ne fait par sa grace adoucir
Machaut: Ma fin est mon commencement
Machaut: Lasse! Comment oublieray / Se j'aim mon loial amy / Pour quoy me bat
Machaut: Sanz cuer m'en vois
Machaut: Ay mi! Dame de valour
Anonymous: Se je chant
Machaut: Douce dame jolie
Machaut: Rose, liz, printemps, verdure
TICKETS: Tickets are priced at $20, $39, $51, and $70 each, and can be purchased at and 617-661-1812; a $5 discount for students, seniors, and groups is offered by calling 617-661-1812. Subscription discounts are available with the purchase of three or more programs on the 2015-2016 Season.

The Orlando Consort have built a stellar reputation as one of Europe's most expert and inventive ensembles, whose performances breathe new life into the lyrical vocal music of the Middle Ages. They return to the BEMF concert stage with a program dedicated to the sensual beauty of 14th-century poet and composer Guillaume de Machaut, a true genius whose brilliant creations influenced Chaucer and countless others.

Machaut was at the pinnacle of the trouvère tradition - the northern French counterpart of and contemporary to the troubadour of Provence - poets and singers who traveled across medieval Europe sharing their songs of courtly love and unrequited passions for eager patrons. Machaut's work enjoyed exceptional fame and renown during his life; books of his poems and love songs became prized possessions of Kings and aristocrats. His music is masterfully built on medieval monophonic traditions, while introducing expressive and innovative polyphonic melodies that set the stage for Renaissance polyphony.

The first half of the program features songs from the Livre dou Voir Dit (Book of the True Tale), a masterpiece telling a pseudo-autobiographical love story between the composer and a much younger noblewoman. The second half explores the extraordinary breadth of Machaut's musical genius throughout a myriad of styles, both sacred and secular, and showcases the virtuoso singing of the Orlando Consort in a variety of solos, duos, trios, and quartets.

Formed in 1988 by the Early Music Network of Great Britain, the Orlando Consort rapidly achieved a reputation as one of Europe's most expert and consistently challenging groups performing repertoire from the Middle Ages and early Renaissance. Their work successfully combines captivating entertainment and fresh scholarly insight; the unique imagination of their programming together with their superb vocal skills has marked the Consort as among the outstanding leaders of their field. In addition to appearances at many of Britain's top festivals, including the BBC Proms and the Edinburgh International Festival, the ensemble tours regularly with appearances throughout Europe, North and South America, and Asia. The Consort's discography includes an impressive number of award-winning, critically acclaimed recordings, including two Gramophone Award winners. The Consort currently holds a residency at Nottingham University and recently made their Carnegie Hall début.

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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 one GRAMMY Award-winning and four GRAMMY Award-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 19th Boston Early Music Festival will take place from June 11-18, 2017, and will feature fully staged performances of André Campra's Le Carnaval de Venise as the Centerpiece Opera. BEMF’s Artistic Leadership includes Artistic Directors Paul O'Dette and Stephen Stubbs, Opera Director Gilbert Blin, and Orchestra Director Robert Mealy.

The 2015-2016 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