BEMF Vocal & Chamber Ensembles

Festival Concerts | June 6–13, 2021

Boston Early Music Festival Vocal & Chamber Ensembles

Paul O'Dette & Stephen Stubbs, Musical Directors

Premiered Friday, June 11, 2021 at 8pm (EDT)

Tempro la cetra: I tune the lyre | BEMF’s own GRAMMY-winning Musical Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs lead the all-star singers and instrumentalists of the Boston Early Music Festival Vocal & Chamber Ensembles in a performance of selections from Monteverdi’s finest vocal duets and other chamber works. Monteverdi was a master of the five-part madrigal, but by the time he published his Seventh Book of Madrigals, he sought to liberate his vocal writing from this older form. Here, we see a new emphasis on the vocal writing that was characterized by contrasts and polarization between the low and high voices, both vocal and instrumental. Hear these magnificent duets interpreted by 5 outstanding singers, including soprano Teresa Wakim, countertenor Reginald Mobley, tenors Jason McStoots and Aaron Sheehan, and bass-baritone Jonathan Woody.

Recorded at the GBH Fraser Performance Studio, Boston, Massachusetts

Length: 1 hour

This concert premiered on Friday, June 11, 2021 at 8pm (EDT) and will remain available until the end of the day on Sunday, July 11, 2021 (EDT).

“The choral singing and instrumental playing are immaculate.



Premieres on Friday, June 11 at 7pm

The Hall of Mirrors
Moderated by Kathleen Fay, BEMF Executive Director; with Paul O’Dette, BEMF Artistic Co-Director; Stephen Stubbs, BEMF Artistic Co-Director; and Robert Mealy, BEMF Orchestra Director

One of the stimulating ironies of working with Monteverdi’s music is that while we do everything we can to understand and revive the lost art of Monteverdi and his contemporaries, they had their eyes firmly fixed on the glories of ancient Greek music and drama. What can Monteverdi’s attempted revival of the ancients teach us about reviving his art? BEMF Directors Paul O’Dette, Stephen Stubbs, and Robert Mealy explore this question and others, during an enlightening discussion prior to the premiere broadcast of a recently recorded performance of duets and trios by Monteverdi featuring the BEMF Vocal and Chamber Ensembles.


Teresa Wakim, soprano


Teresa Wakim has passion and charm.

—Vancouver Sun

Reginald Mobley, countertenor


Pure of tone, immaculate in his articulation and with a personal approach to ornamentation that was never too much and always musical.

—The Herald

Jason McStoots, tenor


“The consummate artist, wielding not just a sweet tone but also incredible technique.

—Cleveland Plain Dealer

Aaron Sheehan, tenor


“Aaron Sheehan brought shining quality and deep sensitivity to the title role.

—The New York Times

Jonathan Woody, bass-baritone


“Jonathan Woody… sang with resonance and authority.

—The Washington Post


Tempro la cetra: I tune the lyre

Claudio Monteverdi: Tempro la cetra
Monteverdi: Ohimè ch’io cado
Dario Castello: Sonata terza
Monteverdi: Ego flos campi
Andrea Falconieri: L’eroica à 3
Monteverdi: Interrotte speranze
Ogni amante è guerrier
Francesca Caccini: Maria, dolce Maria
Castello: Sonata undecima
Quel sguardo sdegnosetto
Monteverdi: Zefiro torna


Boston Early Music Festival Vocal Ensemble
Teresa Wakim, soprano
Reginald Mobley, countertenor
Jason McStoots, tenor
Aaron Sheehan, tenor
Jonathan Woody, bass-baritone 

Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble
Robert Mealy, concertmaster
Cynthia Roberts, violin
Sarah Darling, viola
Laura Jeppesen, viola da gamba
David Morris, viola da gamba & lirone
Maxine Eilander, Baroque harp
Michael Sponseller, harpsichord
Paul O’Dette, chitarrone
Stephen Stubbs, chitarrone


Antonio Oliart Ros, Recording Engineer
Kathy Wittman, Videographer

Double-manual German harpsichord by Allan Winkler, Medford, Massachusetts, 1989, after Fleischer, property of the Boston Early Music Festival.