2023 Circé

2023 Virtual Festival | Centerpiece Opera

Henry Desmarest's Circé

Sunday, June 4, 2023 at 3:30pm
Wednesday, June 7, 2023 at 7pm

Friday, June 9, 2023 at 7pm
Sunday, June 11, 2023 at 3:30pm
Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston, MA

The GRAMMY-winning Boston Early Music Festival returns with an all-new production of Henry Desmarest's Circé!

After the divine sorceress Circé welcomes Ulisse and his weary companions to her island home, the forces of love, magic, and fate clash and threaten to ensnare them all. First performed in 1694 at the Paris Opera, Henry Desmarest’s Circé features a libretto by renowned poet Louise-Geneviève Gillot de Saintonge. Be captivated as this epic adventure from Homer’s Odyssey comes to life on stage with opulent, period-inspired costumes, elegant Baroque dance, breathtaking sets, and utterly gorgeous music.

This new, fully staged production will be led by GRAMMY-winning Musical Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, Stage Director Gilbert Blin, Orchestra Director Robert Mealy, and Dance Director Melinda Sullivan. BEMF has assembled a truly outstanding cast of 20 singers, including many critically-acclaimed favorites from past BEMF productions, with 3-time GRAMMY nominated soprano Karina Gauvin in the title role, GRAMMY-winning tenor Aaron Sheehan as Ulisse, GRAMMY-nominees soprano Teresa Wakim as Astérie and baritone Jesse Blumberg as Elphénor, and BEMF favorites soprano Amanda Forsythe as Éolie and baritone Douglas Williams as Polite.

View or Download the Circé Libretto NOW on Issuu »

“Period-perfect presentations.”

—Opera Canada



Paul O’Dette & Stephen Stubbs, Musical Directors
Gilbert Blin, Stage Director
Robert Mealy, Orchestra Director
Melinda Sullivan, Dance Director

Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière & Pierre-François Dollé, Choreographers
Jérôme Kaplan, Costume Designer
Gilbert Blin, Set Designer
Kelly Martin, Lighting Designer
Ellen Hargis, Assistant Stage Director
Alexander McCargar, Assistant Scenic Designer
Kathleen Fay, Executive Producer


Karina Gauvin, Circé
Aaron Sheehan, Ulisse
Teresa Wakim, Astérie
Jesse Blumberg, Elphénor
Amanda Forsythe, Éolie
Douglas Williams, Polite

Hannah De Priest
Nola Richardson
Mindy Ella Chu
Mireille Lebel
Brian Giebler
Jason McStoots
James Reese
Kyle Stegall
Daniel Fridley
Michael Galvin
Jonathan Woody
Ashley Mulcahy
David Evans


Melinda Sullivan, Dance Director

Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière & Pierre-François Dollé, Choreographers & Dancers; Stéphanie Brochard, Julian Donahue, Junichi Fukuda, Olsi Gjeci, Caitlin Klinger, Isaiah Newby, Alexis Silver, Sonam Tshedzom Tingkhye


Robert Mealy, Julie Andrijeski, Johanna Novom, Cynthia Roberts & Beth Wenstrom, dessus de violon
Sarah Darling, Peter Spissky & Anna Griffis, haute-contre
Miloš Valent & Dagmar Valentová, taille
Daniel Elyar & Laura Jeppesen, quinte
Phoebe Carrai, Matt Zucker & Keiran Campbell, basse
Nathaniel Chase, contrebasse
Gonzalo X. Ruiz & Kathryn Montoya, oboe & recorder
Dominic Teresi & Allen Hamrick, bassoon
Michelle Humphreys, percussion
Michael Sponseller, harpsichord
Paul O’Dette, Stephen Stubbs & Charles Weaver, theorbo & Baroque guitar
David Morris, viola da gamba


Gilbert Blin, Founder & Director
Jason McStoots, Associate Director, 2023
Jeffrey Grossman, Musical Director, 2023

Mara Yaffee, Alissa Magee, Kristine Caswelch, Richard Pittsinger, Jason Rober, Peter Schoellkopff, singers


Kathleen Fay, Executive Producer
Maria van Kalken, Assistant to the Executive Producer

Mercedes Roman-Manson, Production Manager
Carmen Catherine Alfaro, Production Stage Manager
Perry Emerson, Operations Manager
Elizabeth Hardy, Production & Company Assistant

Gordon Manson, Technical Director
Maxx Finn, Master Electrician

Mark Zappone, Costume Supervisor
Jackie Oliva, Wardrobe Supervisor
Seth Bodie, Wig & Make-up Designer/Supervisor

Ian Thorsell, Props Artisan

Dani Zanuttini-Frank, Assistant to the Musical Directors
Lydia Becker, Assistant to the Orchestra Director
Ryan Cheng, Assistant to the Opera Director
Luke Blackburn, Company Co-Manager
Miguel Petris, Company Co-Manager

Kevin Lloyd, Assistant to the Costume Supervisor
Shannon Clarke, Assistant Lighting Designer
Aspen Davis, 1st Assistant Stage Manager
Kay Coughlin, 2nd Assistant Stage Manager
Elizabeth Tippens, Production Assistant

Elizabeth Cole Sheehan, Costume Shop Coordinator
Roland Guidry, Theresa Gautreaux, Lindsay Hoisington, Elsa Ramsey, Rebecca Butler, Kay Bardwell, Carley Wilcox, Stitchers

Ricardo Roman, Stage Supervisor
Wesley Scanlon, Stage Ops/Props

Ellen Hargis, Supertitle Creator
Dan McGaha, Supertitle Supervisor