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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 3, 2014
CONTACT: Kathleen Fay, Executive Director
617-661-1812 | kathy@bemf.org

PRESS RELEASE: Tickets now on sale for Boston Early Music Festival’s 2015 Operatic Centerpiece: The Monteverdi Trilogy, June 7–14, 2015

Cambridge, MA – The Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) has announced that tickets are now on sale for the Operatic Centerpiece of the June 2015 Boston Early Music Festival: The Monteverdi Trilogy, June 7-14, 2015. This extraordinary event features staged performances of Claudio Monteverdi's three surviving operas: L'Orfeo, Favola in Musica, Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, and L'incoronazione di Poppea. All three productions will be led by BEMF’s acclaimed Directorial Team: Grammy nominated Artistic Directors Paul O'Dette and Stephen Stubbs, Opera Director Gilbert Blin, Orchestra Director Robert Mealy, and Costume Designer Anna Watkins.

"Monteverdi's three surviving operas represent the birth of opera as an art form," says BEMF Executive Director Kathleen Fay. "We shall bring this trilogy to the BEMF stage in performances combining incomparable artistic and musical leadership together with a superb cast and outstanding orchestral forces - unprecedented in terms of scale, unified artistic direction, and historic integrity. This will be a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear these iconic works performed back-to-back by some of the most exceptional singers and instrumentalists in the world."

The Monteverdi Trilogy is the centerpiece of BEMF’s 18th biennial festival – themed Invention & Discovery – which BBC3 Radio has deemed “arguably the most important and influential Early Music event in the world.” The week-long celebration of Early Music offers dozens of concerts featuring distinguished artists, ensembles, and dancers, the world-famous Exhibition, and much more. Tickets for all three operas and a Festival concert performance of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 are available now through the Boston Early Music Festival Box Office at WWW.BEMF.ORG or 617-661-1812.

IL RITORNO D'ULISSE IN PATRIA
Monteverdi's Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria tells the epic story of Greek hero Ulysses and his return to Ithaca after the fall of Troy. In his long absence, a trio of suitors has taken control of the city from his faithful queen, Penelope. Virtuous Ulysses calls upon his closest allies and the favor of the gods as he 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.

For the 2015 Festival, BEMF will mount a new, fully-staged production featuring tenor Colin Balzer as Ulisse and mezzo-soprano Mary-Ellen Nesi as Penelope. Three performances will take place at the Boston University Theatre—Sunday, June 7, 2015 at 3:30pm, Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 7pm, and Friday, June 12, 2015 at 7pm. Tickets ($35–$225) are available now through the Boston Early Music Festival Box Office at WWW.BEMF.ORG or 617-661-1812 and through BostonTheatreScene.com and 617-933-8600.

L’INCORONAZIONE DI POPPEA
Monteverdi's final and most profound opera, L’incoronazione di Poppea, was first performed in Venice in 1643, just fifty years after the "birth" of opera as an art form. Its explorations of the abuse of power, the drive of lust, and the triumph of love remain as relevant and intriguing today as they were over three centuries ago.

The smoldering center of this masterpiece is the Roman Emperor Nero's obsessive love for beautiful Poppea and it is brought to life by Australian countertenor David Hansen as Nerone and American soprano Amanda Forsythe as Poppea in a revival of BEMF’s critically acclaimed 2009 production. Two performances will take place at the Boston University Theatre—Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 7pm and Sunday, June 14, 2015 at 3:30pm. Tickets ($35–$225) are available now through the Boston Early Music Festival Box Office at WWW.BEMF.ORG or 617-661-1812 and through BostonTheatreScene.com and 617-933-8600.

L'ORFEO, FAVOLA IN MUSICA
Widely regarded as the first great opera, Monteverdi's L'Orfeo, Favola in Musica features one of opera’s most adored stories, in which the heroic Orfeo endures 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.

BEMF offers an encore presentation of its November 2012 Chamber Opera Series production starring tenor Aaron Sheehan as Orfeo and soprano Mireille Asselin as Euridice. One performance will take place at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall—Saturday, June 13, 2015 at 8pm. Tickets ($25–$105) are available now through the Boston Early Music Festival Box Office at WWW.BEMF.ORG or 617-661-1812.

VESPERS OF 1610
A highlight of the June 2015 Festival concerts will be a performance of Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610, an audacious masterwork that would help to usher the transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque. Musical Directors Paul O'Dette and Stephen Stubbs lead the BEMF Vocal & Chamber Ensembles featuring select cast members from the week's opera productions. One performance will take place at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall—Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 8pm. Tickets ($25–$70) are available now through the Boston Early Music Festival Box Office at WWW.BEMF.ORG or 617-661-1812.

BEMF IN THE BERKSHIRES
The weekend following the conclusion of the June 2015 Festival in Boston, the BEMF Vocal and Chamber Ensembles will present a concert performance of Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 on Saturday, June 20, 2015 at 8pm, followed by BEMF's acclaimed chamber opera production of Monteverdi's L'Orfeo, Favola in Musica on Sunday, June 21, 2015 at 3pm. Both performances take place in the splendid Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington. Tickets ($25–$85) are available now through the Boston Early Music Festival Box Office at WWW.BEMF.ORG or 617-661-1812.

ABOUT THE BOSTON EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL:
Recognized as the preeminent early music presenter and Baroque opera producer in North America, the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) has been credited with securing Boston’s reputation as “America’s early music capital” (The Boston Globe). Founded in 1981, BEMF offers diverse programs and activities, including three Grammy-nominated opera recordings, an annual concert series that brings early music’s brightest stars to the Boston and New York concert stages, and a biennial week-long Festival and Exhibition recognized as the “world’s leading festival of early music” (The Times, London). The 18th Boston Early Music Festival will take place from June 7–14, 2015, and will be highlighted by Claudio Monteverdi’s trilogy of operas: Orfeo, Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria, and L'Incoronazione di Poppea. BEMF’s Artistic Leadership includes Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, Opera Director Gilbert Blin, and Orchestra Director Robert Mealy.

For more information,images, press tickets, or to schedule an interview, please contact Kathleen Fay at 617-661-1812 or email kathy@bemf.org.

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