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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 29, 2014

MEDIA ALERT: BEMF kicks off its 25th Anniversary Season with a program featuring Monteverdi’s Songs of Love and War performed by the all-star performers of the BEMF Vocal & Chamber Ensembles

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ARTIST: Boston Early Music Festival Vocal & Chamber Ensembles
Paul O’Dette & Stephen Stubbs, Musical Directors

BEMF Vocal Ensemble
Teresa Wakim, soprano
Danielle Reutter-Harrah, mezzo-soprano
Reginald Mobley, countertenor
Jason McStoots, tenor
Charles Blandy, tenor
Douglas Williams, bass-baritone
BEMF Chamber Ensemble
Robert Mealy, Concertmaster
Julie Andrijeski, violin
Laura Jeppesen, viola da gamba
Michael Sponseller, harpsichord
Paul O’Dette, chitarrone
Stephen Stubbs, chitarrone
WHEN: Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 8pm
New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall
30 Gainsborough Street, Boston
PROGRAM:  Monteverdi Madrigals: Songs of Love and War
Claudio Monteverdi: Hor che ’l ciel e la terra e ’l vento tace
Monteverdi: Chiome d’oro
Monteverdi: Gira il nemico insidioso Amore
Monteverdi: Ego flos campi
Dario Castello: Sonata terza
Monteverdi: Ohimé, ch’io cado, ohimé
Monteverdi: Augellin, che la voce
Monteverdi: Lamento della Ninfa
Castello: Sonata undecima
Monteverdi: Ogni amante è guerrier
Andrea Falconieri: L’eroica à 3
Monteverdi: Altri canti di Marte
TICKETS: Tickets are priced at $19, $38, $49, $66, and $100 each, and can be purchased at WWW.BEMF.ORG and 617-661-1812, as well as through the Jordan Hall Box Office located at 30 Gainsborough Street in Boston and by telephone at 617-585-1260; 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.

The all-star performers of BEMF’s own Vocal & Chamber Ensembles kick off our 25th Anniversary Season with a program featuring music from Monteverdi’s eighth and final book of madrigals, led by Grammy-nominated Musical Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs. Published near the end of his extraordinarily long career, prior to his last operas, Book Eight contains the most important secular works of Monteverdi’s final decades. In a revolutionary juxtaposition, the volume presents both familiar portrayals of love through song and the stirring rhythms of his newly reimagined depiction of war in music, giving this iconic repertoire unparalleled contrasts.

Claudio Monteverdi was born in 1567 in Cremona, Italy, and would go on to enjoy a remarkably long and productive career. He first published his music when he was just 15, and continued to compose until his death at age 76 in 1643. A truly innovative musical genius, he represents both the culmination of the Renaissance style and the dawn of the Baroque period. His eighth book of madrigals, published in 1638, expresses both his mastery of the existing musical landscape in his songs of love as well as his passion for invention as he endeavored to create a new musical language to explore themes of war and conflict.

“Monteverdi’s explicit aim was for music to express the entire range of man’s passions,” observes Stephen Stubbs, Musical Co-Director. “He came to believe that there was a particular element heretofore missing from the expressive range of music, and he determined to supply it.”

Paul 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. 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 and have made six opera recordings with BEMF on the CPO label with three receiving Grammy nominations in the “Best Opera Recording” category. He is an avid researcher, having worked extensively on the performance and sources of 17th-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.

After a thirty-year career in Europe, Stephen Stubbs has established himself as one of the world's most respected lutenists, conductors, and music educators. In 1987 he founded the ensemble Tragicomedia, which toured throughout Europe, Japan, and the U.S., and has made numerous recordings. Tragicomedia has served as the continuo team for the Boston Early Music Festival since 1997. Mr. Stubbs is the Festival’s permanent Artistic Co-Director along with his long-time colleague Paul O’Dette. The pair are also the Musical Directors of all BEMF operas. BEMF’s recordings of Conradi’s Ariadne, Lully’s Thésée, and Lully’s Psyché were nominated for Grammy awards in 2005, 2007, and 2008, respectively. In 2007 Mr. Stubbs established his new production company based in Seattle, Pacific MusicWorks (PMW), reflecting his lifelong interest in both early music and contemporary performance. In addition to his ongoing commitments to PMW and BEMF, other recent appearances have included Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Gluck’s Orfeo in Bilbao, and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Così fan tutte for the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival. He made his début with the Edmonton Symphony conducting Handel’s Messiah in 2012, and conducted Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in Denver. His extensive discography as conductor and solo lutenist includes well over 100 CDs, many of which have received international acclaim and awards. In 2013, Mr. Stubbs was appointed Senior Artist in Residence at the University of Washington School of Music.

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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 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.

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