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Ellen Hargis and Paul O'Dette


Ellen Hargis

Soprano Ellen Hargis, acclaimed as "a national musical treasure" by Continuo, has built a remarkable career specializing in 17th- and 18th-century music, ranging from ballads to opera and oratorio. She has performed with many of the foremost period music conductors of the world including Andrew Parrott, Gustav Leonhardt, Paul Goodwin, Monica Huggett, Jane Glover, Simon Preston, Daniel Harding, Paul Hillier, Harry Bicket, Craig Smith and Jeffrey Thomas. She has performed with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Virginia Symphony, Washington Choral Arts Society, Long Beach Opera, CBC Radio Orchestra, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Teatro Lirico, Tragicomedia, New York Collegium, The Mozartean Players, Fretwork, Emmanuel Music and the Mark Morris Dance Group, and has become regular performer with Chicago's Music of the Baroque, the American Bach Soloists, Seattle Baroque and the Portland Baroque Orchestra. She has appeared at many of the world's leading festivals including the Adelaide Festival (Australia), Utrecht Festival (Holland), Resonanzen Festival (Vienna), Festival Vancouver. Tanglewood, the Berkeley Festival and New Music America Festival. She has been featured in successive seasons of the Boston Early Music Festival where she has sung Aeglé in Lully's Thésée, the title role in Luigi Rossi's L'Orfeo, Queen Pasiphae in Conradi's Ariadne and Irina in Johann Mattheson's 1710 opera, Boris Goudenow. Lully's Thésée and Conradi's Ariadne were recorded for CPO and were nominated respectively for 2007 and 2006 Grammys.

Recent highlights include performances of Bach's St. Matthew Passion with The American Bach Soloists, Mozart's Mass in C minor with Jane Glover and Music of the Baroque, the Monteverdi Vespers with Tragicomedia and Concerto Palatino, and a return to Los Angeles to reprise the role of Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas with Musica Angelica.

Paul O'Dette

Few instrumentalists establish themselves with such firm authority as Paul O'Dette has on the lute. He has been described as the clearest case of genius ever to touch his instrument. (Toronto Globe and Mail) One of the most influential figures in his field, O'Dette has helped define the technical and stylistic standards to which twenty-first-century performers of early music aspire. In doing so, he helped infuse the performance practice movement with a perfect combination of historical awareness, idiomatic accuracy, and ambitious self-expression. His performances at the major international festivals in Boston, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Berkeley, London, Bath, Paris, Montpellier, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Bruges, Antwerp, Berlin, Munich, Bremen, Dresden, Vienna, Innsbruck, Prague, Milan, Florence, Geneva, Madrid, Barcelona, Tenerife, Copenhagen, Oslo, Cordoba, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Melbourne, Tokyo, etc. have often been singled out as the highlight of those events. Though best known for his recitals and recordings of virtuoso solo lute music, Paul O'Dette maintains an active international career as an ensemble musician as well, performing with many of the leading early music soloists and ensembles. He is a member of the acclaimed continuo ensemble Tragicomedia.

Paul O'Dette has made more than 120 recordings, many of which have been nominated for Gramophone's Record of the Year Award. The Complete Lute Music of John Dowland (a 5-CD set for harmonia mundi usa), was awarded the prestigious Diapason D'or de l'année, while The Royal Lewters has received the Diapason D'or, a Choc du Monde de la Musique, a 5-star rating in BBC Music Magazine, 5-star rating in Goldberg and a perfect score of 10 from Mr. O'Dette has performed in broadcasts for the ABC (Australia), Radio Argentina, BBC (UK), CBC (Canada), Radio France, RAI (Italy), Westdeutscher Rundfunk (Cologne), Bayerischer Rundfunk (Munich), SFB (Berlin), NOS (Holland), Austrian Radio, Spanish Radio and Television, TV Ankara, Hungarian Television, Norwegian Radio, Danish Radio and Television, Swedish Television, Swiss Radio and Television, National Public Radio (USA) and CBS Television (USA).

Recently, Mr. O'Dette has been active conducting Baroque operas. In 1997 he led performances of Luigi Rossi's L'Orfeo at Tanglewood, the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) and the Drottningholm Court Theatre in Sweden with Stephen Stubbs. Since 1999 they have co-directed performances of Cavalli's Ercole Amante at the Boston Early Music Festival, Tanglewood, and the Utrecht Early Music Festival, Provenzale's La Stellidaura Vendicata at the Vadstena Academy in Sweden, Monteverdi's Orfeo and L'Incoronazione di Poppea for Festival Vancouver, Lully's Thesée, Conradi's Ariadne (Hamburg, 1691) and Mattheson's Boris Goudenow for the Boston Early Music Festival and Tanglewood. Their recording of Conradis Ariadne was nominated for a Grammy as best opera recording of 2005. Paul O'Dette has guest conducted numerous Baroque orchestras on both sides of the Atlantic including the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Tafelmusik, Apollos Fire, Ensemble Arion, Chatham Baroque and Corona Artis.

In addition to his activities as a performer, Paul O'Dette is an avid researcher, having worked extensively on the performance and sources of seventeenth-century Italian and English solo song, continuo practices and lute technique, the latter resulting in a forthcoming book co-authored by Patrick O'Brien. He has published numerous articles on issues of historical performance practice and co-authored the Dowland entry in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

Paul O'Dette is Professor of Lute and Director of Early Music at the Eastman School of Music and Artistic Director of the Boston Early Music Festival.