2019 Orlando

Agostino Steffani's Orlando

Sunday, June 9, 2019 at 3:30pm
Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 7pm

Friday, June 14, 2019 at 7pm
Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 3:30pm
Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston, MA

The GRAMMY-winning Boston Early Music Festival is back with the fully staged, North American premiere of Agostino Steffani's Orlando. Our landmark presentation promises superb singing, thrilling orchestral accompaniment, lavish costumes, elegant dance, brilliant sets, breathtaking flying machines, and so much more!

Journey to a fantastical world in Steffani’s 1691 masterpiece, as the valiant knight Orlando travels to distant China in search of his love, Princess Angelica. When she rejects him, he spirals into self-doubt and madness in a psychological drama full of magic and mystery. Based on Ludovico Ariosto’s 16th-century epic, Orlando is a profound masterpiece that deconstructs medieval myths to examine deeply human themes of desire, love, jealousy, and madness.

BEMF continues an award-winning exploration of the music of Steffani with this brand-new production. Immensely popular during his lifetime, Steffani’s operas dazzled audiences with deeply expressive arias and duets and awe-inspiring special effects. With enchanted castles, a luxurious foreign court, and winged beasts taking to the skies, this vivid entertainment comes alive for Boston audiences with gorgeous, period-inspired costumes, brilliant sets, and breathtaking flying machines. Enjoy truly ravishing performances from our all-star cast of singers, dancers, and instrumentalists, led by GRAMMY-winner Aaron Sheehan in the title role.

The performance will be sung in Italian with English supertitles. The run time will be approximately 3 hours, 50 minutes. Please note there is ongoing construction at the intersection of Boylston Street and Tremont Street. We encourage patrons to allow for extra travel time due to resulting sidewalk and lane closures.

“It was one of those time-stopping moments that makes BEMF's biennial opera essential.”

—The Wall Street Journal

“A magical production… absolutely not to be missed.”

—Boston Musical Intelligencer

Production Photos

Photos by Kathy Wittman

Behind-the-Scenes Video Previews


Paul O'Dette & Stephen Stubbs, Musical Directors
Gilbert Blin, Stage Director
Robert Mealy, Concertmaster
Melinda Sullivan, Dance Director
Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière, Choreographer
Anna Watkins, Costume Designer
Gilbert Blin, Set Designer
Kelly Martin, Lighting Designer
Ellen Hargis, Assistant Stage Director
Kathleen Fay, Executive Producer

Vocal Cast

Aaron Sheehan, Orlando
Amanda Forsythe, Angelica
Emőke Baráth, Bradamante
Christopher Lowrey, Ruggiero
Kacper Szelążek, Medoro
Jesse Blumberg, Atalante
Flavio Ferri-Benedetti, Galafro
Zachary Wilder, Brunello
Teresa Wakim, Melissa

BEMF Dance Company

Melinda Sullivan, Dance Director
Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière, Choreographer and Dancer
Stéphanie Brochard & Pierre-François Dollé, Guest Dancers
Julian Donahue, Olsi Gjeci, Caitlin Klinger, Alexis Silver & Andrew Trego

BEMF Orchestra

Robert Mealy, Concertmaster
Julie Andrijeski, Cynthia Roberts, Beth Wenstrom, Johanna Novom, Miloš Valent, Dagmar Valentová, Peter Spissky, Sarah Darling Jesse Irons, violin; Patrick Jordan, Laura Jeppesen, Daniel Elyar David Douglass, viola; Phoebe Carrai, Beiliang Zhu, Matt Zucker & Keiran Campbell, violoncello; Heather Miller Lardin, double bass; Gonzalo X. Ruiz & Kathryn Montoya, oboe & recorder; Dominic Teresi & Allen Hamrick, bassoon; Michelle Humphreys, percussion; Paul O’Dette & Charles Weaver, theorbo; Stephen Stubbs, theorbo & Baroque guitar; Maxine Eilander, Baroque harp; Michael Sponseller, harpsichord; David Morris, viola da gamba

BEMF Young Artists Training Program

Gilbert Blin, Founder & Director
Jason McStoots, Associate Director, 2019
Jeffrey Grossman, répétiteur

Cody Bowers, Kevin Bryant, Samantha Dotterweich, Michael Galvin, Sylvia Leith, Elijah McCormack, Gabriela Estephanie Solis, Karin Weston & Sinéad White, singers; Alex Meeth & Sonam Tshedzom Tingkhye, dancers