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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 21, 2014
CONTACT: Kathleen Fay, Executive Director
617-661-1812 | kathy@bemf.org

Tickets now on sale for Boston Early Music Festival’s 2014–2015 Concerts—BEMF’s 25th anniversary Season

Cambridge, MA–Subscriptions and Individual Tickets are now on sale for the Boston Early Music Festival’s 2014–2015 Concerts—its 25th anniversary season, featuring special performances by BEMF’s own all-star Vocal and Chamber Ensembles and exciting programs from some of the world’s most extraordinary Early Music artists and ensembles. This landmark season opens and closes with programs celebrating the music of Claudio Monteverdi, whose three extraordinary operas will headline BEMF’s next summer festival in June, 2015.

“For a quarter of a century, BEMF has been dedicated to presenting an annual concert series of the most exciting and accomplished artists and ensembles from around the globe,” said Kathleen Fay, Executive Director. “We are thilled to celebrate this milestone with some of our favorite guest artists and three extraordinary programs showcasing BEMF’s own artists.”

Boston Early Music Festival 25th Concert Series begins with BEMF’s world-renowned Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs leading a performance of Monteverdi Madrigals: Songs of Love and War on Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 8pm at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall in Boston. The all-star instrumentalists and singers of the BEMF Vocal & Chamber Ensembles bring their virtuoso talents to pieces from Monteverdi’s 8th and final book of Madrigals dealing with the opposing yet intertwined themes of love and war. The ensemble of soloists will include BEMF audience favorites Teresa Wakim, Jason McStoots, and Danielle Reutter-Harrah, all of whom will be returning for roles in the Monteverdi operas featured at the 2015 Festival.

The following month will see the BEMF début of stunning keyboard virtuoso Kenneth Weiss in a harpsichord recital on Saturday, November 1, 2014 at 8pm at First Church in Cambridge, Congregational. An alumnus of New York City’s “famed” High School for the Performing Arts and longtime collaborator with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, Weiss offers a stunning program of energetic opera and ballet transcriptions by Rameau, infused with an exhilarating theatricality.

The BEMF Chamber Opera Series, a “popular tradition among local early music fans” (The Boston Globe), returns for its 6th production, a double bill of Neapolitan comic opera by Pergolesi on Thanksgiving weekend, Saturday November 29, 2014 at 8pm and Sunday, November 30, 2014 at 3pm at NEC’s Jordan Hall. Musical Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs along with Stage Director Gilbert Blin helm semi-staged productions of Pergolesi’s delightfully charming La serva padrona and Livietta e Tracollo. Originally written as intermezzi to be performed during a production of more serious operatic fare, these comic masterpieces found fame in their own right across Europe enchanting audiences with their engaging wit and Pergolesi’s theatrical music. Other members of the directorial team for the production include Anna Watkins, costume designer, and Robert Mealy, concertmaster of the all-star BEMF Chamber Ensemble. Soprano Amanda Forsythe, acclaimed by The New York Times as “simply dazzling,” leads a cast of four singers of the BEMF Vocal Ensemble. She is joined by Erica Schuller, soprano, Douglas Williams, bass-baritone, and Jesse Blumberg, baritone, as well as members of the BEMF Dance Ensemble who will bring to the stage craft their extensive experience with commedia dell’arte.

With 39 performances since 1990, no ensemble has been more of a fixture on the BEMF concert stage than the legendary voices of The Tallis Scholars and director Peter Phillips. Indeed, their beloved annual performances actually predate the establishment of BEMF’s Concert Series by one year! They return for their 26th consecutive season on Friday, December 12, 2014 at 8pm at St. Paul Church, Cambridge, in a breathtaking program of Renaissance vocal music by Byrd, Josquin, and Turges.

For nearly three decades, The Newberry Consort has delighted audiences with ravishingly beautiful programs. They return to the BEMF concert stage on Friday, February 6, 2015 at 8pm at First Church in Cambridge, Congregational, with co-directors David Douglass and Ellen Hargis leading a stunning program of Medieval Spanish songs written in praise of the Virgin Mary. The singers of Boston’s own Exsultemus join the ensemble for this brilliant concert which incorporates projected images of the lavish illustrations from the original manuscripts commissioned by King Alfonso X of Castile.

The young voices of Stile Antico return to the BEMF concert stage for their fifth consecutive year on Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 7:30pm at St. Paul Church, Cambridge, in a program truly fit not just for a king, but for an emperor. Rapidly emerging as one of the most-sought after Renaissance vocal ensembles in the world, they will explore music associated with the imperial courts of the Hapsburg dynasty, including glorious works by some of the finest Spanish, Flemish, and English Renaissance composers.

Back by popular demand, the adventurous players of the Venice Baroque Orchestra return to BEMF on Friday, March 13, 2015 at 8pm at First Church in Cambridge, Congregational. Their concert will showcase thrilling concertos from Italian Baroque masters Vivaldi, Galuppi, Locatelli, and Paisiello, highlighted by a selection of virtuosic mandolin concertos featuring Grammy-nominee Avi Avital. Praised by The New York Times for “exquisitely sensitive playing” and “stunning agility”, Avital has established himself as one of the world’s most engaging and exciting musicians.

This celebratory season comes to a triumphant conclusion on Friday, April 10, 2015 at 8pm at Sanders Theatre at Harvard University, Cambridge with a powerhouse recital. In advance of their eagerly anticipated appearances as Poppea and Nerone in BEMF’s June 2015 production of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, beloved soprano Amanda Forsythe and superstar countertenor David Hansen join forces with BEMF’s Grammy-nominated Musical Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs for a one-of-a-kind concert featuring selections from Monteverdi’s Poppea, sparkling chamber duets by Steffani and Handel, and solo showcases for each performer. This collaboration of world-class artists promises to be a truly unforgettable musical event!

Subscriptions and individual tickets are now on sale through the Boston Early Music Festival Box Office at 617-661-1812 or online at WWW.BEMF.ORG. Discounted subscription packages start as low as $102 for three programs.

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, The Gregory E. Bulger Foundation, and U. S. Trust/Bank of America Private Wealth Management.

ABOUT THE BOSTON EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL:
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 three 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.

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

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