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2018-2019 Season
BEMF Chamber Opera Series presents Francesca Caccini's ALCINA

Saturday, November 24, 2018 at 8pm
Sunday, November 25, 2018 at 3pm
NEC's Jordan Hall, Boston, MA

Select your Seats » | Subscribe to 3 or more programs »

Monday, November 26, 2018 at 7:30pm
Tuesday, November 27, 2018 at 7:30pm
Gilder Lehrman Hall, The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY

Purchase Tickets »

A contemporary of Monteverdi and a colleague of Galileo, Francesca Caccini came of age in Florence during the earliest years of opera as an art form. Both a composer and a performer, she was one of the most important musical figures at the Medici court during the regency of Christina of Lorraine and her daughter-in-law Maria Maddalena. In 1625, amid this time of female leadership, she created the first opera by a woman composer, La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina.

Alcina is a brilliant entertainment, full of wit, magic, and drama, with a demanding title role first sung by the composer herself. At the center of a struggle of illusion and destiny, the sorceress Alcina stands between the valiant magician Melissa and her quest to save the warrior Ruggiero and liberate the captives who Alcina has transformed into plants and trees to ornament her island.

GRAMMY Award-winning Musical Directors Paul O'Dette and Stephen Stubbs and Stage Director Gilbert Blin lead a gorgeous production joined by Concertmaster Robert Mealy, Choreographer Melinda Sullivan, Costume Designer Anna Watkins, and the all-star singers and instrumentalists of the BEMF Vocal & Chamber Ensembles.

Video | Program Notes & Libretto | Rehearsal Photos | Artists

“A constant delight of anticipation.”
—The Wall Street Journal


Go behind-the-scenes on BEMF's new production with video previews from the rehearsals.


Enjoy scenes from past BEMF Chamber Opera Series productions!

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Alcina libretto (PDF)

synopsis by Stage Director Gilbert Blin. (PDF)

Program Notes by Musical Co-Director Stephen Stubbs (PDF)

Dance Notes by Choreographer Melinda Sullivan (PDF)

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Go inside the Rehearsal Studio at Longy School of Music of Bard College. Photos by Kathy Wittman.

Shannon Mercer (Alcina). Photo by Kathy Wittman

Cast of Alcina. Photo by Kathy Wittman.

Colin Balzer (Ruggiero) and Kelsey Lauritano (Melissa). Photo by Kathy Wittman

Choreographer Melinda Sullivan. Photo by Kathy Wittman.

Shannon Mercer (Alcina) and Colin Balzer (Ruggiero). Photo by Kathy Wittman.

Musical Directors Paul O'Dette and Stephen Stubbs. Photo by Kathy Wittman.

Concertmaster Robert Mealy and BEMF Chamber Ensemble member Erin Headley. Photo by Kathy Wittman.

Colin Balzer and Teresa Wakim. Photo by Kathy Wittman.

Costume Designer Anna Watkins. Photo by Kathy Wittman.

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Vocal Cast Photos

Paul O’Dette & Stephen Stubbs, Musical Directors
Gilbert Blin, Stage Director
Robert Mealy, Concertmaster
Melinda Sullivan, Dance Director
Anna Watkins, Costume Designer
Kathleen Fay, Executive Producer

Boston Early Music Festival Vocal Ensemble
Shannon Mercer, Alcina
Colin Balzer, Ruggiero
Kelsey Lauritano, Melissa
Teresa Wakim, Margot Rood, Sonja DuToit Tengblad, Danielle Sampson, Sophie Michaux, Mindy Ella Chu, Jason McStoots, Brian Giebler, David Evans, David McFerrin, Ian Pomerantz & Daniel Fridley

Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble
Paul O’Dette & Stephen Stubbs, chitarrone & Baroque guitar
Robert Mealy & Julie Andrijeski, violin
Sarah Darling, viola
Erin Headley, Christel Thielmann & Laura Jeppsen, viola da gamba
Kathryn Montoya & Héloïse Degrugillier, recorder
Maxine Eilander, Baroque harp
Michael Sponseller, organ, regal & harpsichord

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