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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 13, 2013

PRESS RELEASE: BEMF Celebrates 5 Years of its Chamber Opera Series with a Gala Concert on December 1, 2013

Cambridge, MA – November 13, 2013- The Boston Early Music Festival celebrates five seasons of the BEMF Chamber Opera Series with a gala concert performance of highlights on Thanksgiving weekend, Sunday, December 1 at 3pm at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall (30 Gainsborough Street in Boston, MA). Tickets are priced at $19, $38, $49, $66, and $125 and are available through the Boston Early Music Festival at 617-661-1812 or at WWW.BEMF.ORG, as well as through the Jordan Hall Box Office located at 30 Gainsborough Street in Boston and by telephone at 617-585-1260.

Hailed by The Boston Globe for “vivid performances,” since 2008 the BEMF Chamber Opera Series has taken the internationally acclaimed musicianship, scholarship, and direction showcased in BEMF’s fully staged Festival operas and focused it on small-scale works. Featuring rarely heard gems and beloved masterpieces, these intimate productions each Thanksgiving weekend at NEC’s Jordan Hall have proved to quickly become a “popular tradition among local early music fans,” (The Boston Globe). Recordings of two of the featured operas, Charpentier’s Actéon and Blow’s Venus and Adonis, have been released by the German label CPO (Classic Produktion Osnabrück), and two additional recordings from the Series were made this past summer for release over the next two years.

BEMF’s three-time Grammy-nominated Artistic Co-Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs with BEMF Opera Director Gilbert Blin have crafted a program featuring some of their favorite selections from the seven operas that have been featured in the BEMF Chamber Opera Series since 2008, with gorgeous excerpts from Handel’s Acis and Galatea, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Monterverdi’s Orfeo, and more. Performing these gorgeous selections will be the all-star singers and instrumentalists of the BEMF Vocal and Chamber Ensembles with audience favorites featured in past productions lead by O’Dette and Stubbs. Heading the vocal cast will be soprano Amanda Forsythe who thrilled audiences this summer in BEMF's operatic centerpiece production of Handel's Almira and was featured in Blow’s Venus and Adonis in the first year of the Chamber Opera Series. Also featured will be tenor Aaron Sheehan, who performed the title role in four BEMF Chamber Opera Series productions; Soprano Teresa Wakim, whose appearance in BEMF's production of Acis and Galatea was praised by The New York Times for a voice of “extraordinary suppleness and beauty;" and baritone Douglas Williams and tenor Jason McStoots, the only two singers to have been featured in all 5 years of the BEMF Chamber Opera Series. The cast will also include Jesse Blumberg, Thea Lobo, Danielle Reutter-Harrah (BEMF début), and Zachary Wilder. They appear alongside the 13 member BEMF Chamber Ensemble featuring concertmaster Robert Mealy.

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

Vocal Cast
Jesse Blumberg, Amanda Forsythe, Thea Lobo, Jason McStoots, Danielle Reutter-Harrah, Aaron Sheehan, Teresa Wakim, Zachary Wilder, Douglas Williams

Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble
Robert Mealy, concertmaster
Cynthia Roberts, violin  |  Laura Jeppesen, viola
Phoebe Carrai, violoncello
Christel Thielman & Beiliang Zhu, viola da gamba
Doug Balliett, bass
Gonzalo X. Ruiz & Kathryn Montoya, oboe & recorder
Dominic Teresi, bassoon  |  Avi Stein, harpsichord
Paul O'Dette & Stephen Stubbs, theorbo & Baroque guitar
WHEN: Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 3pm
New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall
30 Gainsborough Street, Boston
PROGRAM:  BEMF Chamber Opera Series Gala Concert

Selections from:
John Blow’s Venus and Adonis
Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Actéon
George Frideric Handel's Acis and Galatea
Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas
Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers
Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s La Couronne de Fleurs
Claudio Monteverdi’sOrfeo
TICKETS: Tickets are priced at $19, $38, $49, $66, and $125 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.

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 2013–2014 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.

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