As we knew from past Festivals, the 2013 Boston Early Music Festival was going to be nothing short of extraordinary — in the wide variety and extremely high level of the performances, the huge number of international performers, and total number of concerts. Even the music festivals that we go to in Europe don’t compare to BEMF in their depth and breadth. I said in an earlier post that BEMF was proclaimed the early music equivalent of the Super Bowl, the NBA playoffs, the World Series, the Stanley Cup, and the Olympic Games all rolled into ten days. In fact, when former organ student, Joey Fala, saw the 336-page program book for the Festival, he said “It’s a telephone book!”
As we attended the opera Almira on Sunday afternoon which was its fourth performance, you should know that there will be three more performances in the Berkshires next week. What is incredible is that these same people have been involved in other concerts all this week!
For example, Kristian Bezuidenhout not only played in Monday’s Mozart concert, and Tuesday’s late night harpsichord concert, but played in all the performances of the opera. The viola player, Milos Valent who was in the Mozart concert, also played in the BEMF Orchestra concert and the Charpentier chamber opera. The oboe players, Gonzalo X. Ruiz and Kathryn Montoya also played in the Symphonie des Dragons oboe band concert plus all the operas and orchestra concert (Montoya, on the University of North Texas faculty, also played in their concerts. Robert Mealy, concertmaster, and in fact all the orchestra players not only had to play in the Thursday BEMF Orchestra concert, but also the chamber opera on Saturday, plus all the performances of Almira.
Surely the marathon awards go to Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, who were not only involved in the chamber opera last night, but also played a late-night concert called Tragicomedia and Friends, along with soprano Amanda Forsythe on Saturday night. And remember that O’Dette accompanied soprano Emma Kirkby on Tuesday night.
When do these people rehearse? When do these people sleep?
I am reminded of the old Mastercard commercial which would go something like this:
Two Airfares from Honolulu to Boston: $1893.60
Two Boston “T” passes: $36.00
Ten days of eating out three meals a day: Who knows?
Two Silver Serpent passes to the Festival: $1800.00
Hearing the best of the best at the Boston Early Music Festival: Priceless!