2015 The Monteverdi Trilogy

BEMF Opera | 2015 Centerpiece Opera

The Monteverdi Trilogy

For the June 2015 Festival, our undertaking to produce all three of the extant operas of Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643)—The Monteverdi Trilogy—with a cohesive artistic and scholarly vision, is a momentous occasion in the modern revival of Baroque opera. Monteverdi was the first great genius in the history of opera, and the imposing quality of these individual works is universally recognized. Ulisse, Poppea, and Orfeo have inspired a virtual explosion of performance and scholarship over the past half century; BEMF’s incomparable team of internationally respected leaders—Musical Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, Stage Director Gilbert Blin, and Concertmaster Robert Mealy—together with an all-star cast of singers and instrumentalists, will bring all three of these iconic masterpieces to life, in multiple and conveniently scheduled staged performances throughout our extraordinary Festival Week.


Monteverdi's Poppea

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 7pm
Sunday, June 14, 2015 at 3:30pm
Boston University Theatre, Boston

Monteverdi’s final and most profound opera, L’incoronazione di Poppea, was first performed in Venice in 1643, only months before his death. Its exploration of the abuse of power, the drive of lust, and the triumph of love is as relevant and intriguing today as it was over three and a half centuries ago, and shows Monteverdi at the height of his powers. The smoldering center of this masterpiece is the Roman Emperor Nero’s obsessive love for the beautiful Poppea, which is brought to life by Australian countertenor David Hansen as Nerone and American soprano Amanda Forsythe as Poppea. BEMF’s GRAMMY Award-Winning Musical Directors lead a revival of the critically acclaimed 2009 production of this extraordinary work.

Monteverdi's Ulisse

Sunday, June 7, 2015 at 3:30pm
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 7pm
Friday, June 12, 2015 at 7pm
Boston University Theatre, Boston

Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria tells the epic story of the return of the Greek hero Ulysses to his kingdom of Ithaca a full decade after the fall of Troy. In his long absence, three power-hungry suitors have been wooing his faithful queen, Penelope. Aided by the goddess of wisdom, Ulysses reclaims his kingdom and the hand of his beloved. The intense drama comes alive through Monteverdi’s vividly expressive score in what is often regarded as his most tender and moving opera. Don’t miss this brand new, fully staged production at the June 2015 Festival.

Monteverdi's Orfeo

Saturday, June 13, 2015 at 8pm
NEC’s Jordan Hall, Boston
Sunday, June 21, 2015 at 3pm
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center,
Great Barrington

Widely regarded as the first great opera, Monteverdi’s Orfeo features one of opera’s most adored stories, in which the heroic Orfeo suffers the tragic death of his beloved Euridice, and travels to the underworld to plead for her return. Breathtaking in its beauty and variety, this masterpiece defined an art form still in its infancy, with rich instrumental colors, dramatic word painting, and a virtuosic opulence of tone and texture. Experience this magical musical entertainment, an exquisite encore presentation of the November 2012 BEMF Chamber Opera Series production.

Critical Acclaim


—The Boston Globe

“Vivacious, imaginative continuo playing.”

—The Wall Street Journal


—The New York Times

Behind-The-Scenes Video


Paul O'Dette & Stephen Stubbs, Musical Directors
Gilbert Blin, Stage Director
Robert Mealy, Concertmaster
Anna Watkins, Costume Designer & Supervisor
Gilbert Blin, Set Designer
Lenore Doxsee, Lighting Designer
Kathleen Fay, Executive Producer
Caroline Copeland, Assistant Stage Director & Choreographer (Ulisse)
Ellen Hargis, Assistant Stage Director (Poppea)
Melinda Sullivan, Choreographer (Orfeo)



Colin Balzer, Ulisse
Mary-Ellen Nesi, Penelope
Zachary Wilder, Telemaco
Mireille Asselin, Minerva
Jason McStoots, Eumete
Aaron Sheehan, Eurimaco
Amanda Forsythe, Giunone
Laura Pudwell, Ericlea
Matthew Brook, Nettuno
Nell Snaidas, Amore
Christian Immler, Antinoo
Jose Lemos, Pisandro
Charles Blandy, Anfinomo
Danielle Reutter-Harrah, Melanto
Erica Schuller, La Fortuna
Patrick Kilbride, Iro
John Taylor Ward, Il Tempo


Amanda Forsythe, Poppea
David Hansen, Nerone
Shannon Mercer, Ottavia
Nathan Medley, Ottone
Teresa Wakim, Drusilla
Christian Immler, Seneca
Laura Pudwell, Arnalta
Zachary Wilder, Lucano
Nell Snaidas, Amore & Valletto
Jose Lemos, Nutrice
Aaron Sheehan, Liberto
Erica Schuller, La Fortuna & Damigella
Marco Bussi, Littore
Danielle Reutter-Harrah, La Virtù & Pallade
John Taylor Ward, Mercurio


Aaron Sheehan, Orfeo
Mireille Asselin, La Musica & Euridice
Shannon Mercer, Messaggiera
Teresa Wakim, Proserpina & Ninfa
Nathan Medley, Speranza & Pastore
Jason McStoots, Apollo & Pastore
Marco Bussi, Plutone & Pastore
Matthew Brook, Caronte & Pastore
Charles Blandy, Pastore

BEMF Dance Ensemble

Caitlin Klinger & Scott Weber (Ulisse); Carlos Fittante (Orfeo)

BEMF Chamber Ensemble

Robert Mealy & Julie Andrijeski, violin; Laura Jeppesen, viola; Phoebe Carrai, violoncello; Robert Nairn, double bass; Paul O’Dette & Stephen Stubbs, chitarrone & Baroque guitar; Maxine Eilander, Baroque harp; Alessandro Quarta, Michael Sponseller & Avi Stein, harpsichord & organ; David Morris, viola da gamba; Erin Headley, viola da gamba & lirone

Dark Horse Consort (Orfeo)

Kiri Tollaksen & Alex Opsahl, cornetto; Alex Opsahl, recorder; Greg Ingles, Erik Schmalz, Mack Ramsey, Liza Malamut & Catherine Motuz, sackbut; Catherine Motuz & Greg Ingles, trumpet

Boston Early Music Festival Young Artists Training Program (Ulisse)

Gilbert Blin, Founder & Director
Christian Immler, Associate Director, 2015

Brittany Fowler, Bradley J. King, Zachary Lenox, Michael Manning, Sarah Mitchell & Hannah Rose Stubbs, singers; Melissa House & Maurice Dawkins, dancers