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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 8, 2013

Boston Early Music Festival Announces the Appointments of Gilbert Blin as Opera Director and Robert Mealy as Orchestra Director

Cambridge, MA – October 8, 2013 – The Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) is pleased to announce two new appointments to its artistic leadership team headed by Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs. Gilbert Blin has been given the newly created position of Opera Director after having served for six years as Stage Director in Residence, directing all of BEMF’s Festival Centerpiece Opera productions and Chamber Opera Series productions during that period. Robert Mealy, a twenty-year veteran of the BEMF Orchestra and its most frequent concertmaster since 2005, has been appointed Orchestra Director.

“We are thrilled to have Gilbert and Robert take on these new roles for the Boston Early Music Festival,” said BEMF Artistic Co-Director Stephen Stubbs. “Both have been invaluable collaborators for many years and are at the top of their respective fields. These appointments will allow BEMF to continue producing operas and concerts of the highest caliber for many years to come.”

Gilbert Blin, Opera Director
Mr. Blin’s collaboration with the BEMF Baroque Opera Project as Stage Director in Residence has proven a phenomenal success with critics and audiences alike. He has served as Stage Director and Set Designer for the last three Festival Operatic Centerpiece productions, and as Stage Director for all five productions in the BEMF Chamber Opera Series. Accomplishments during his tenure include the establishment of the Chamber Opera Series in November 2008, the formation of the BEMF Baroque Dance Ensemble in 2010, BEMF’s first chamber opera tour in 2011, his founding of the BEMF Young Artists Training Program in 2011, and dramatic coaching for four opera CDs, two of which were nominated for Grammy Awards.

“All of Gilbert’s work with us has been creatively inspired and meticulously researched,” said BEMF Executive Director Kathleen Fay. “His direction allows these operas to truly come alive on stage, and has proven a perfect complement to the impeccable musicianship of Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs. His appointment as Opera Director reflects the enormous role he has undertaken in shaping all initiatives of the BEMF Baroque Opera Project, and it is a great privilege for us all to continue such a richly rewarding partnership.”

Gilbert Blin graduated from the Paris Sorbonne with a Master’s degree focusing on Rameau’s operas and their relation with the stage, an interest that he has since broadened to encompass French opera and its relation to Baroque theater, his fields of expertise as historian, stage director, and designer. His début productions include Massenet’s Werther and Delibes’s Lakmé for Paris Opéra-Comique, Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable for Prague State Opera, and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice for the Drottningholm Theatre in Sweden. Since 2001, Mr. Blin has established himself as a sought-after stage director for the Baroque repertoire: in addition to his initial work with BEMF, directing Lully’s Thésée in 2001 and Psyché in 2007, he directed Vivaldi’s Orlando furioso for the Prague State Opera, and staged and designed reconstructions of Vivaldi’s Rosmira fedele and Handel’s Teseo for Opéra de Nice. His recent productions also include an historically staged and designed production of Alessandro Scarlatti’s Il Tigrane with Opéra de Nice.

Robert Mealy, Orchestra Director
Mr. Mealy has been a prominent member of the BEMF Orchestra, an all-star ensemble of period-instrument players from around the globe, since 1993. He later served as the Orchestra’s concertmaster beginning in 2005, and directed it in orchestral concerts at the 2011 and 2013 Festivals; he has frequently led the Chamber Ensemble as well since it was established in 2008. As Orchestra Director, Mr. Mealy will continue to act as concertmaster in BEMF opera performances and on recordings under the leadership of BEMF Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, and serve as director of the ensemble in orchestral concerts.

“Robert is a truly special colleague and we are delighted to officially welcome him as Orchestra Director at BEMF,” said BEMF Artistic Co-Director Paul O’Dette. “He is an exceptional musician and has been indispensible to Steve and myself in preparing BEMF's opera productions, and we are both excited to know we will continue to have him at our side in the years to come.”

One of America’s most prominent historical string players, Robert Mealy has been praised for his “imagination, taste, subtlety, and daring” (The Boston Globe). He has recorded over eighty CDs on most major labels, ranging from Hildegard von Bingen with Sequentia, to Renaissance consorts with The Boston Camerata, to Rameau operas with Les Arts Florissants. A frequent soloist and leader in New York, he is concertmaster of Trinity Wall Street’s resident Baroque orchestra and was recently appointed Director of the distinguished Historical Performance program at The Juilliard School. He has toured to Moscow with the Mark Morris Dance Group, and accompanied Renée Fleming on the David Letterman Show. Mealy is also a professor of music at Yale University, where he directs the postgraduate Baroque program. In 2004 he received Early Music America’s Binkley Award for outstanding university teaching.

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 has been credited with securing Boston’s reputation as “America’s early music capital” (The Boston Globe). Founded in 1981, the Boston Early Music Festival offers diverse programs and activities, including an annual concert series that brings early music’s brightest stars to the Boston and New York concert stages, and a biennial weeklong Festival and Exhibition recognized as the “world’s leading festival of early music” (The Times, London). It has made three Grammy-nominated opera recordings. The 18th Boston Early Music Festival will take place June 7–14, 2015, and will feature productions of all three of Claudio Monteverdi’s surviving operas: Orfeo, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, and L’incoronazione di Poppea.

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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