New York native Claire Raphaelson has made a home for herself in Boston as an active recitalist and soloist with wide-ranging musical pursuits. Praised for her “stylistically nuanced performances,” and “charming sense of chutzpah,”( Boston Musical Intelligencer) Claire collaborates frequently with lutenist Matthew Wright and keyboardist Matthew Hall, and appears with numerous local ensembles such as Musical Offering, Exsultemus, Seven Times Salt, Harvard Early Music Society, Helios Early Opera, and others. Recent performances include the title role in the fringe opera Bacchus et Erigone by Mondonville at Boston Early Music Festival and many innovative lute song programs. She has participated in masterclasses given by Ellen Hargis, Stephen Stubbs, William Christie, and Emmanuel Music, has trained at the International Baroque Institute at Longy and at the Vancouver Early Music Baroque Vocal Programme. Claire received her MM in Historical Performance from Longy School of Music and her BM in Vocal Performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. She is on the substitute roster of Boston Baroque, a section leader at Parish of the Good Shepherd, and is a student of Pamela Dellal.
Julia Cavallaro, mezzo-soprano, is a Boston-based freelance singer specializing in early music and contemporary repertoire. She appeared most recently as Sister Dorothy in Evan Mack’s new opera Angel of the Amazon, and in the ensemble of Steffani’s Niobe, Regina di Tebe as part of the BEMF Young Artists Training Program. In Spring 2012, she will perform Bach’s St. Matthew Passion as a chorus member of the Handel and Haydn Society and make her debut with the Boston Concerto Soloists. Recent opera roles include La Discorde in Charpentier’s Les Arts Florissants, La Ciesca in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Teiresias in Merryman’s Antigone, Delphia in Purcell’s Dioclesian, and Mirinda in Cavalli’s L’Ormindo. Ms. Cavallaro appears frequently on stage and in concert with the Musical Offering and Harvard Early Music Society, and has trained and performed at the Amherst Early Music Festival, International Baroque Institute at Longy, Vancouver Early Music Baroque Vocal Programme, and Accademia d’Amore. She received her master’s degree in vocal performance from the Boston University College of Fine Arts, after graduating from Harvard College in 2008. Ms. Cavallaro is an associate program director at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, where she plans and administers courses in music, foreign languages, literature, writing, history, science, and technology, among others.
REBEKAH AHRENDT (viola da gamba) has been described as “a player to watch” (San Francisco Classical Voice) and praised for her “dark, rich tone” and “fine form” (Fanfare). She appears in the United States and Europe as a soloist and with a variety of ensembles, including Les grâces, Les Violettes, Long & Away, Sonnambula, and Disperata. Rebekah is particularly known for her sensitive accompaniment of singers, one of her favorite occupations. A graduate of the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the Netherlands, where she studied viola da gamba and historical performing practices, Rebekah also holds the Ph.D. in musicology from UC Berkeley. She is currently a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at Tufts University.
Matthew Hall studied music and linguistics at Harvard, and completed his master’s degree in musicology at the University of Leeds (UK) on a Fulbright Scholarship with a dissertation on the keyboard music of Charles Dieupart. While in England he was Organ Scholar at Leeds Cathedral and performed with Leeds Baroque Orchestra. Now in Boston, he is organist at Church of Our Saviour, Brookline, and is pursuing doctoral studies in harpsichord at Boston University under Peter Sykes. He performs with the Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra and Musical Offering, and appears frequently in and around Boston as a solo harpsichord and organ recitalist. As a director of early opera, he served three seasons as artistic director of the Harvard Early Music Society and maintains an advisory relationship with that organization. He is now in his third season as assistant conductor of the Amherst Early Music Festival Opera. He has received praise for “show[ing] wonderful understanding of the subtlety and expressive potential of the French style,” (Arts Boston) and for his “lively…and adventurous” playing (Boston Musical Intelligencer).
In addition to his performing activities, Matthew is an editorial assistant at the Packard Humanities Institute, Cambridge, publishers of C.P.E. Bach: The Complete Works. He also teaches courses on music history and repertoire at The Cambridge Center for Adult Education. He contributes to Harpsichord & Fortepiano magazine and Early Music Performer, and has published research in peer-reviewed journals. His research focuses on 17th- and 18th-century French language, rhetoric and declamatory style, especially as these inform musical interpretation. His recitations of Classic French texts have been called “luscious” (Boston Musical Intelligencer).