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Press Release


Boston Early Music Festival presents Le Poème Harmonique in a program of Spanish dances from 17th-century France on Friday, November 10 in Harvard Square.

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ARTIST: Le Poème Harmonique (France)
Vincent Dumestre, Director

Isabelle Druet, mezzo-soprano; Fiona-Emilie Poupard, violin; Lucas Peres, viola da gamba; Thomas de Pierrefeu, violone; Pere Olive, percussion; Vincent Dumestre, theorbo and Baroque guitar
WHEN: Friday, November 10, 2017 at 8pm
First Church in Cambridge, Congregational, 11 Garden Street, Cambridge
PROGRAM:  Danza! Spanish Dances in 17th-century France

Luis de Briceño: Españoleta
Briceño: Andalo çaravanda
Anonymous: "Lloren, lloren mis ojos" from the Libro de tonos humanos
Briceño: El caballo del marques
Briceño: Que tenga yo mi mujer
Antonio Martin y Coll: Diferencias sobra la gayta
Pedro Calderón de la Barca: Monologue de Segismundo (La vida es sueño)
Henry Le Bailly: Passacalle de la Locura
Briceño: Canario
Etienne Moulinié: El baxel esta en la playa
Anonymous: "No soy yo" from the Cancionero de Uppsala
Francisco Berxes: Ay, que mal
Briceño: Folia
Briceño: Serrana, si vuestros ojos
Briceño: Di me de que te quexas
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 available by calling 617-661-1812. Subscription discounts are available with the purchase of three or more programs on the 2017-2018 Season.

Le Poème Harmonique have delighted audiences and critics alike for performances and recordings that integrate stylish refinement with invigorating energy. Returning to the BEMF concert stage for the first time since their memorable début at the June 2007 Festival, Artistic Director Vincent Dumestre leads an ensemble of six of the most accomplished artists specializing in early music in France today. This captivating program explores Spanish influences on 17th-century dance music in France.

When King Louis XIII married the Spanish Infanta, not only did he infuse the royal line with Spanish blood, he also brought folias, sarabandas, españolas, and españoletas north of the Pyrenees. The two monarchs ushered in a golden age of ballet in which Spanish dances and themes were regular features. Spanish characters appeared in royal spectacles, and Spanish musicians took their place in the salons of the day. The city of Paris, in imitation of the court, demanded its share of this Spanish magic. Served by the ardor of its songs and the witticisms of its language, the Spanish influence was felt across the French musical arts. Le Poème Harmonique has taken this Spanish journey along a festive and colorful path. Vincent Dumestre associates the guitar and vocals with a broad range of percussion instruments, infusing existing works with new tones and the freshness of improvisation.

There will a Pre-Concert Talk at 7pm with Le Poème Harmonique Director Vincent Dumestre.

Formed in 1998, Le Poème Harmonique is a group of soloists gathered around Artistic Director Vincent Dumestre. Its artistic activity, centered on vocal and instrumental music of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, is regularly enriched by interaction with other disciplines. Actors, dancers, circus artists and puppeteers join its singers and musicians in large-scale stage productions such as Molière’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. This, together with real teamwork – working together as a company – is Le Poème Harmonique’s hallmark in Baroque performance today. Although Le Poème Harmonique has performed concerts across France and in most of the world’s major capitals, it has forged a special relationship with Normandy, where it gives a quarter of its performances. The ensemble’s recordings for the Alpha label have been met with rare public success: Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros, the Diapason d’Or, a Prelude Classical Award in 2003, the Antonio Vivaldi International Award, the Caecilia Press Prize, and so on.

Vincent Dumestre is the founder and artistic director of Le Poème Harmonique. After studying art history and classical guitar, he devoted himself to the Baroque repertoire, studying the lute, theorbo and Baroque guitar under Hopkinson Smith, Eugène Ferré, and Rolf Lislevand, among others. He has performed with numerous European Baroque ensembles, including the Ricercar Consort, La Simphonie du Marais, and Le Concert des Nations. In 1998, Mr. Dumestre founded Le Poème Harmonique. Fascinated by the connections between music, theatre and popular culture, he works with artists from a variety of backgrounds and has produced a large number of shows that celebrate the wonderful vitality of the Baroque imagination. Invited to perform at the world’s most celebrated concert halls, opera houses and festivals, he has appeared at the Opéra Comique, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Opéra Royal de Versailles, Wiener Konzerthaus, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Festival of Utrecht, Kölner Philharmonie, Wigmore Hall, BBC Proms, Forbidden City Hall in Beijing, Oji Hall in Tokyo, Columbia University in New York, and many others.

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BEMF’s 2017–2018 Season Press Release:

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-winning and 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 20th Boston Early Music Festival will take place from June 9-16, 2019, and will feature fully staged performances of Agostino Steffani’s Orlando generoso as the centerpiece opera. BEMF’s Artistic Leadership includes Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, Opera Director Gilbert Blin, Orchestra Director Robert Mealy, and Dance Director Melinda Sullivan.

The 2017–2018 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, 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