2021 Festival | Centerpiece Opera

2021 Festival | Centerpiece Opera

Campra's Le Carnaval de Venise

Paul O'Dette & Stephen Stubbs, Musical Directors
Gilbert Blin, Stage Director

Premiered Sunday, June 6, 2021 at 3pm (EDT)

The GRAMMY-winning Boston Early Music Festival returns to its video archives for an enchanting spectacle of music and dance with a virtual presentation of our 2017 production of Le Carnaval de Venise, André Campra's captivating 1699 opéra-ballet. Join four star-crossed lovers as they experience the delights of the Carnival season in Venice—seen onstage in a colorful parade of beautiful, period-inspired costumes and magnificent sets—enjoying games, dances, and even a brilliantly realized “opera within an opera”, a miniature Italian opera on the Orpheus myth. Campra was the leading composer of opera in France between the death of Lully and the emergence of Rameau, and thrilled audiences and royal patrons alike with some of the most gorgeous music in the Baroque repertoire. This exquisite gem joins the elegance of French dance with the boisterous hilarity of Italian commedia dell’arte to produce a splendid feast for eyes and ears!

BEMF’s GRAMMY–winning Musical Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs and internationally acclaimed Stage Director Gilbert Blin lead the production, which features an outstanding cast of 19 singers, the 27-member Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra led by Concertmaster Robert Mealy, a troupe of 10 Baroque dancers led by Dance Director Melinda Sullivan and performing choreography by Caroline Copeland, lavish costumes designed by Anna Watkins, and sumptuous staging inspired by the color and variety of 17th-century operatic spectacle.

Produced in partnership with the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles

Recorded June 18, 2017 at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts

Length: 3 hours

This video premiered on Sunday, June 6, 2021 at 3pm (EDT). You can still purchase tickets and watch the performance until the end of the day on Sunday, July 11, 2021 (EDT).

Antonio Oliart Ros, Recording Engineer
Kathy Wittman, Videographer


Premieres on Sunday, June 6 at 1pm

Producing and Performing André Campra’s Le Carnaval de Venise

Join us for an engaging conversation about the evolution of BEMF’s 2017 North American premiere production of Campra’s Le Carnaval de Venise. Rebecca Harris-Warrick, Professor of Music at Cornell University, moderates a panel of specialists—including Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, BEMF Musical Directors; Gilbert Blin, BEMF Stage Director and Set Designer; Robert Mealy, BEMF Orchestra Director; and Caroline Copeland, BEMF Choreographer—as they explore the meticulous research and careful attention that was undertaken to bring this opéra-ballet to the stage.

Critical Acclaim

“Downright hilarious … the pleasure is infinite.”

—The Boston Globe

“BEMF spares no effort when it stages opera.”


Behind-The-Scenes Video



Paul O'Dette & Stephen Stubbs, Musical Directors
Gilbert Blin, Stage Director
Robert Mealy, Concertmaster
Melinda Sullivan, Dance Director
Caroline Copeland, Choreographer
Anna Watkins, Costume Designer
Gilbert Blin, Set Designer
Christopher Ostrom, Lighting Designer
Ellen Hargis, Assistant Stage Director
Kathleen Fay, Executive Producer


Amanda Forsythe, Isabelle
Karina Gauvin, Leonore
Jesse Blumberg, Leandre
Douglas Williams, Rodolphe

Vocal Cast

Christian Immler, Virginia Warnken Kelsey, Olivier Laquerre, Mireille Lebel, José Lemos, Jason McStoots, Nathan Medley, Molly Netter, Erica Schuller, Aaron Sheehan, & Teresa Wakim; Chorus: David Evans, Bradley King, Ian Pomerantz & Mark Williams

Boston Early Music Festival Dance Company

Melinda Sullivan, Dance Director
Caroline Copeland, Ben Delony, Carlos Fittante, Olsi Gjeci, Caitlin Klinger, Alexis Silver, Andrew Trego & Scott Weber; Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière, Guest Dancer

Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra

Robert Mealy, Concertmaster
Julie Andrijeski, Beth Wenstrom, Sarah Darling, Johanna Novom & Jesse Irons, violin; Miloš Valent, Dagmar Valentová, Daniel Elyar, Karina Schmitz, Laura Jeppesen & David Douglass, viola; Phoebe Carrai, Beiliang Zhu, David Morris & Michael Unterman, violoncello; Doug Balliett, double bass; Gonzalo X. Ruiz & Kathryn Montoya, oboe & recorder; Debra Nagy, taille d'hautbois; Dominic Teresi, bassoon; Samuel Budish, percussion; Michael Sponseller, harpsichord; Paul O'Dette, Stephen Stubbs & Charles Weaver, theorbo; Erin Headley, viola da gamba

On-Stage musicians: Ryaan Ahmed, theorbo & Baroque guitar; Samuel Budish, pipe and tabor

Boston Early Music Festival Young Artists Training Program

Gilbert Blin, Founder & Director
Jason McStoots, Associate Director, 2017
Jeffrey Grossman, répétiteur
Thomas Albanese, Mindy Ella Chu, Hannah De Priest, Julian Donahue, Daniel Fridley, Ekaterina Gorlova, Lindsay Gray, Suzanne Karpov, Devon Michael Morin, Ashley Mulcahy & Corbin Phillips, 2017 Young Artists