[ Concerts ]

Soprano Ellen Hargis and lutenist Paul O’Dette perform at the Collection Oct. 6

“It would be hard to imagine the queen in possession of better musicians…
moving beyond words.”
— Vancouver Sun
September 17, 2013


The Yale Collection of Musical Instruments presents Ellen Hargis, soprano, and Paul O’Dette, archlute, on Sunday, October 6 in “Wait! I’m singing now…”, a concert of baroque Italian music featuring works by Barbara Strozzi, Antonio Scarlatti, Antonio Cesti, and more.

Ms. Hargis and Mr. O’Dette have been friends and colleagues for over 25 years, and have toured throughout the globe to rave reviews in Japan, Russia, Spain, France, Austria, England, and Canada. The duo has two recordings on the Noyse Productions label, and is featured as the Dowland example (Flow my tears) and the Caccini example in the new Norton Anthology. 

According to 17th-Century Music in a review of this same program, “Hargis’s resplendent voice, which she wields with consummate authority, ran the expressive gamut from the desperation of Alessandro Scarlatti’s Orfeo and Barbara Strozzi’s hauting ground-bass lament L’amante segreto, to the impassioned and coquettish episodes in Cesti’s cantata… not a note was lost in O’Dette’s exquisitely paced renditions of music by Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger and Alessandro Piccinini.”

The concert will open with Barbara Strozzi’s L’Astratto. Strozzi’s cantatas are widely considered to be among the most original and powerful writing of the early Baroque period; her songs often deal with the treachery of love, running the emotional gamut from contentment to anguish, rage, sorrow, and resignation. L’Astratto explores whether signing can help one to forget about the troubles of love. A set of toccatas and gagliardas by Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger will follow. The first half will conclude with three more Strozzi pieces: Respira mio core, L’amante segreto, and Questa e la nuova.

After intermission, Hargis and O’Dette will perform Alessandro Scarlatti’s  Orfeo, followed by four lute pieces by Alessandro Piccinini. The concert will conclude with Antonio Cesti’s Aspettate! adesso canto!. In this highly humorous cantata, a protagonist with a large ego is determined to show off, beginning song after song without finishing any of them. Unlike Strozzi’s L’Astratto, who despairs of ever finding the right song to soothe her soul, Cesti’s singer becomes fed up with the audience and storms off, showing that the divas of the seventeenth century may closely resemble their modern counterparts.

The Yale Collection of Musical Instruments, one of the foremost institutions of its kind, preserves and exhibits musical instruments from antiquity to the present. Many instruments are maintained in playing condition and are featured in performances and demonstrations in the fine acoustic of the upstairs gallery, the venue for this performance.

The concert begins at 3 pm at the Collection of Musical Instruments, located at 15 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven. Tickets are $20, $15 for seniors and Yale staff, and $10 for students. The concert will also stream live online. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158 or visit the link below.



About the Performers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASoprano Ellen Hargis is one of America’s premier early music singers, specializing in repertoire ranging from ballads to opera and oratorio. She has worked with many of the foremost period music conductors of the world, including Andrew Parrott, Gustav Leonhardt, Daniel Harding, Paul Goodwin, John Scott, Monica Huggett, Jane Glover, Nicolas Kraemer, Harry Bickett, Simon Preston, Paul Hillier, Craig Smith, and Jeffery Thomas. She has performed with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, The Virginia Symphony, Washington Choral Arts Society, Long Beach Opera, CBC Radio Orchestra, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Tragicomedia, The Mozartean Players, Fretwork, the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Emmanuel Music and the Mark Morris Dance Group. Ellen Hargis has performed at many of the worldʹs leading festivals including the Adelaide Festival (Australia), Utrecht Festival (Holland), Resonanzen Festival (Vienna), Tanglewood, the New Music America Festival, Festival Vancouver, the Berkeley Festival (California), and is a frequent guest at the Boston Early Music Festival. Her discography embraces repertoire from medieval to contemporary music. She has recently recorded the leading role of Aeglé in Lully’s Thésée for CPO, nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording in 2008, as well as Conradi’s opera Ariadne, also nominated for a Grammy Award. She is featured on a dozen Harmonia Mundi recordings including a critically acclaimed solo recital disc of music by Jacopo Peri, and in Arvo Pärtʹs Berlin Mass with Theatre of Voices. Ellen Hargis teaches voice at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and is Artist‐in‐ Residence with the Newberry Consort at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University.

Paul-O'Dette-by-Jennifer-GirardPaul OʹDette has been called ʺthe clearest case of genius ever to touch his instrument.ʺ (Toronto Globe and Mail) His performances at major international festivals are often been singled out as the highlight of those events. This includes festivals in Boston, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Vancouver, London, Bath, Paris, Montpellier, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Berlin, Munich, Bremen, Dresden, Vienna, Prague, Milan, Florence, Geneva, Madrid, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Oslo, Cordoba, St. Petersburg, Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Melbourne, Tokyo, etc. Best known for his recitals and recordings of virtuoso solo lute music, OʹDette also maintains an active international career as an ensemble musician, performing with William Christie, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Christopher Hogwood, Gustav Leonhardt, Nicholas McGegan, Sylvia McNair, Andrew Parrott, Nigel Rogers, Jordi Savall, Tafelmusik and The Parley of Instruments. He is a member of the acclaimed continuo ensemble Tragicomedia. Paul OʹDette has directed Baroque orchestras on both sides of the Atlantic including the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Tafelmusik, Apolloʹs Fire, Chatham Baroque, Ensemble Arion and Corona Artis. He has conducted Baroque operas at Tanglewood, the Boston and Utrecht Early Music Festivals, the Drottningholm Court Theatre and Festival Vancouver. Paul OʹDette can be heard on over 100 CDs, and his solo recordings have won prizes and rave reviews. He has served as Director of Early Music at the Eastman School of Music since 1976 and is Artistic Director of the Boston Early Music Festival.