bemf round 4-8: concerts @ Jordan Hall

After Ulisse I pretty much camped at Jordan Hall for the rest of the week attending some SUPERB concerts!! Here’re some bullet-format comments, with some updates coming later today once I retrieve photos from the camera (Edit 24.jun.2015: now photos added:)

Thursday 11/Jun/2015 at 5pm: 20 lutes! great fun!! check out a glimpse of their encore 🙂

Thursday 11/Jun/2015 at 8pm: Monteverdi Vesper 1610
– This was the first concert i contemplated skipping due to irrelevant reasons.. And of course stern Stray friendly suggested I shouldn’t.. Indeed it turned out a GREAT evening, loads and loads of arrangements of all sorts of voices with various instruments in the orchestra. At first I was clueless, thinking it was a form of mass.. until a friend mentioned it’s a series of “evening songs”, which entirely made sense the constant musical-chair rearrangements of singers (the fact that the pieces are not connected but rather somewhat independent, and one just need to rearrange to get the proper number + type of singers and instruments in the same corner). Superb singing, in many occasions almost a-cappella.
Saturday 13/Jun/2015 at 2.30pm: Royal Academy of Music and Juilliard415 playing Bach:
– I was late for this one, because the weather was gorgeous outside and there was a pride parade going on!! After dragging Stray along to see some floats and contemplating skipping the concert, Stray sternly recommended that I not skip :-). And it would have been a HUGE mistake! Given my listening background, it was the BEST concert. Finally i get it: if you want to listen to Bach, this is the type of orchestra and singers you need!! It makes a huge difference! You realized immediately why Bach music is so powerful! I *love* duets between voices and oboes. Also memorable was 1 duet with the horns. Post concert I was on my walk out when overheard our soprano is from Belgium and that it’s a very international orchestra + chorus.
Saturday 13/Jun/2015 at 11pm: BEMF Chamber Ensemble and Dark Horse Consort:
– superb _whatever_ you call the fancy woodwind instruments next to the lovely baroque horns (I LOVE those horns too, sounds so low key), and also fantastic drums! They brought out the dancers in generic period costumes so I spent my time enjoying the violinists instead..
Sunday 14/Jun at 12:30pm: Michael Form and Friends playing Vivaldi(ana)
– How about a bassoon solo!! and bassoon – recorder duet! the entire concert was great but i must say the best piece is Vivaldi RV 86 which gave full lines of music to the bassoon — Mélanie Flahaut, our bassoonist played several trills!! She then joyfully duetted with the recorder, simply superb. They received very loud and well deserved applause and hollers from the audience.


This was to be my last concert.. until I decided to walk next door to purchase a ticket for Poppea.. But let’s summarize here: it was a superb week with top quality music! Am happy to finally get a hang of this to understand which concerts / groups I should see. The only regret is the missing of Jordi Savall.. the things we learn :-).

bemf round 3: return of Penelope (and Ulisse)

Penelope and her suiters, BEMF staging ©Kathy Wittman, Ball Square Films

Penelope and her suiters, BEMF staging ©Kathy Wittman, Ball Square Films

I saw this opera only once before, in Zürich with Sara Mingardo exactly 1 year ago, and at the time completely clueless about the storyline and thinking Ulisse was a woman (mezzo). As the music was so new at the time, the only clear impression i had was how GREAT the orchestral part was, enough that I was highly motivated to come see BEMF’s staged version this time. That, and a chance to check out Mary-Ellen Nesi for the first time live. I’ll have to admit though that the Zürich’s staging completely occupied my head, so we will have some photos from that scattered here for visual comparison :-). Really, throughout the evening whenever a scene came up I immediately had flashbacks to Zürich to remember what was going on then..

Penelope and her suiters, Zürich staging; ©Monika Rittershaus

Penelope and her suiters, Zürich staging; ©Monika Rittershaus

As I allude to, first up, we will talk about the staging: As a huge fan of simple and modern sets, I must admit to originally being taken aback by the costumes in this BEMF version (first photo), especially when compared to what I saw before… But in fact after getting used to it, it is simple and carries very well the story with zero distractions. In fact the clothing does help to distinguish between the so many characters (also having English sur-title helps significantly!)

Colin Blaze as Ulisse. ©BEMF

Colin Balzer as Ulisse. ©BEMF

As already touched on, my first impression was on the great music.. So onto THE ORCHESTRA!! i got the cheapest ticket in this tiny theater, the sound was still absolutely superb but there was zero view of the instruments. And since there were some empty seats scattered around during the mid-week show, I nicely sweet-talked to a couple fellows at the front-row balcony and upgraded myself 20 rows up next to them 🙂 . They have been actively involving with BEMF since 1986! Anyhow, i think if you are lucky to have a great orchestra such as this , or La Scintilla, or Concerto Italio in the previous post, you’re in for a GREAT night musically! The BEMF ensemble is truly impressive, though surprisingly small, only 2 violins, 1 viola, 2 theorbos, 1 harp, 3 viola-da-gamba, 3 harpsichords(!!) . I’d come anytime to hear them play. In fact I was thinking they could have put the singers in the pit and orchestra on stage :-).

Next up, the singers. I was very much looking forward to hearing Mary-Ellen Nesi live. She has an exceptionally warm tone! Very pleasant for the ears. But, i’m afraid that is the end of my praises.. because the moment Penelope’s lament came on, already the first phrase, i was thinking oh no…

Mireille Asselin ©BEMF

Mireille Asselin ©BEMF

Kurt Streit as Ulisse in Zürich. ©Monika Rittershaus

Kurt Streit as Ulisse in Zürich. ©Monika Rittershaus

Ok, I was talking phrasing a couple of posts back. If there’s a single type of singing I can not handel, it’s the “pouting/over-emoting” way (e.g., “crying” to sing about sadness instead of singing about crying). At first I was hoping that’s just for the lament, but the whole evening convinced me it’s the way she sings.. I am curious how she sounded tonight, it could have been a 1-night thing?

In contrast, there are several GREAT singers, in order of my preference: Mireille Asselin as the goddess Minerva, Zachary Wilder as Penelope’s son Telemaco, Jason McStoots as Ulisse’s servant Eumete, Amanda Forsythe as Giunone (the sister of Jupiter i think). These singers really demonstrate the meaning of phrasing. And Zachary Wilder might be the only one who dared to put his lovely pianissimo to the (fully successful) test twice, great descriptive singing when he re-told Penelope what he saw while traveling. Mireille Asselin was full of authority (in her voice) when convincing Ulysses to trust her plan. In fact, every scene with her was a vocal delight!

Zachary Wilder as Penelope's son ©BEMF

Zachary Wilder as Penelope’s son ©BEMF

With Jason McStoots, I remembered him most from the last BEMF for some forced comedy.. but this time his action was all very apt along with also very impressive phrasing. And then Amanda Forsythe showed up in her puny role and progressed to make me wish BEMF would swap out a mezzo for a soprano (along with transposing the music) so we could hear her as Penelope 🙂 . Truly, after you hear the whole evening, she stormed in and demonstrated how she could take over in just 5 minutes of singing! Every time i hear her I am impressed. Colin Balzer as Ulisse is also great. His entrance with Ulisse’s lament (being dumped on an island after Neptune cooked up the storm to get him trapped there) was not really standing out but there were great moments with very descriptive singing afterward.

the party in Zürich ©Monika Rittershaus

the party in Zürich ©Monika Rittershaus

Also noticeable is Laura Pudwell as Penelope’s nurse Ericlea, I quite like her descriptive singing in her lone aria pondering if she should tell Penelope that she saw Ulisse’s tatoo 😀 (birthmark am told, when she gave him a bath, according to the sur-title!) . The countertenor singing 1 of Penelope’s suiters was also quite good.

In summary, it was a VERY impressive show, effective staging, incredible orchestra playing, wonderful singing. I wished it was a bit different with Penelope.  One a side note, by putting photos of these two stagings side-by-side, I’m glad to see huge differences which make operas so interesting.  Those suiters in Zürich clearly were having more fun partying at the expense of poor Penelope.  I can see why Ulisse was having no issues ridding them all :-).


amanda forsythe at sanders theater

This was billed as a duet show with soprano Amanda Forsythe and counter-tenor (CT) David Hansen, accompanied by a small group of superb baroque violin + gamba (4), theorbos + variations (2), and harpsichord players, as part of the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) concert series leading up to their full summer festival this June. With that in mind, as Stray explained to me from the pre-concert talk, most of what presented tonight was pre-cursor to what we will see, specifically one of Monterverdi’s 3 operas L’incoronazione di Poppea . The first half included 4 main duets between Poppea and Nerone with the last one’s intro music remarkably resembling the opening phrase of “Un momento di contento” in Händel’s Alcina. After intermission we got two very nice Händel’s arias sung by Amanda Forsythe and two by David Hansen.
Orchestra: I very much like the strings! Here the theorbo + other plucking instruments were not really featured but rather only accompanying. Thanks to Händel’s re-cycling habit one gets to hear some very nice “excerpts” from his operas in one of the Sonatas, specifically this “Menuet” which of course brought my mind _directly_ back to Wien (if you own the dvd and can’t remember where this ends and what follows *immediately* after, go check now 😉 ). It sounded equally gorgeous with 1 primary violin playing the main tune and 2 violas + plucking instruments + harpsichord setting the stage.

That said, for “Dopo notte” the beginning was a bit too “flow-y”, too “romantic-y” rather than joyful. Perhaps this simply is a result of my listening the last 3 nights to Ariodante from Barcelona.. But to be not so single-minded, let’s have a listen to Franco Fagioli’s version? Actually it does sound flowy here (I’m talking only of the opening with strings, more on singing and why this particular clip below)

Ok, with all caveats regarding my subjective ears for CT, as the evening progressed I felt this was an Amanda Forsythe’s show. What she wants, she can express, both with the “ease” in voice and effort, as well as shades and colors. The contrast between what I view as a natural voice (hers) versus a “restricted high voice” (his) couldn’t be clearer to me when they sing in duet. Her tone has warmth, character, and expression. His, I “felt” was more restricted to a narrow range which already “appears” uncomfortably high, and when going lower you can hardly hear and when higher quite harsh, borderline screaming/shrieking at times (to my ears). Even within the middle, when looked away so as not to be distracted by visual effect, i couldn’t quite feel the shaping.
So, as the show went on, one could sense she was in her element doing it with her flexible voice, and he with his look and “acting” more than vocal expression. Stray remarked that if he could tone down a bit the “acting” perhaps the focus might be more on vocal expression. Anyhow, I had several options for Dopo Notte sample (note my resistance 😉 ), but have decided to put Franco Fagioli’s here because, as I explained to Stray there’s a CT thing and then there’s this CT thing, namely you can hear FF’s range + expressiveness quite well, and FF actually used his chest notes in “nottÈ**” and “terrÀ” and has quite a strong base and more “pleasant” (for the ears) high in contrast to DH. My point is not to compare one CT to another, but rather a discussion on a range which is 1-sided, similar to sopranos singing *only* within her head-voice range and how flexible + less strained + expressive she can be in there.
To wrap up, many many thanks again to Stray’s cousin :-), whose ticket i inherited (very niiiice seat), and to Stray for the lovely company. Of course I’m not educated in music and perhaps have no clue what I “hear” when it comes to musicality *and* CT, but I sat there debating further if I want to attend BEMF’s L’incoronazione di Poppea this June given this is exactly what I’ll hear (identical casting as we saw today for the 2 main characters, and how much they dominate the entire opera; not to mention 2 more CT’s in other various roles, grrr). Essentially the question boils down to whether I should come to hear Amanda Forsythe sing Poppea, and yes, i should! There was some talk last year from bloggers in London ( 🙂 ) as to who should “fit” to sing this character and we have one here no doubt.

Oh, note I didn’t discuss a lot the Monteverdi’s singing part.. This is mainly because, though i had thought am familiar with this piece, it turned out i exclusively have been listening to the version with a tenor-Nerone and mostly fast-forwarded to Ottone’s parts :D, so was totally clueless on the bits sung during the concert. Here, Stray, in case you stop by, this is the only one i have listened to, not from 1950’s, rather 2006!
** the accent thing on È and À is a vietnamese thing, when placed there, you go deep DOWN :-).

bemf with pergolesi @ Jordan Hall

cool stray made a *four*-hr trek to town *with* a spare ticket! actually without spare i would have come all the same. a self-claimed early music lover, without Stray, i would have still missed all these goodies, can you believe.. There seems to be a local cult devoted fan-base following the boston early music festival performances here because the competition is pretty strong with H&H and Händel’s messiah same time right next door at symphony hall..


spare ticket seat courtesy of Stray’s cousin

So, on the program: double-bill Pergolesi’s comedic works of “La serva padrona” and “Livietta e Tracollo”. Think the last time i attended such a double-bill it was a split piece1-intermission-piece2 and the music was a bit more confusing for newbies like me to understand.  This time it’s much easier to follow as well as a different sort of split, which i quite liked: piece(1+2)-intermission-more_piece(1+2) . Essentially it’s two somewhat unrelated stories developing in parallel and one can plot it such that eventually the characters cross path (or not) but it helps to have all personnels for use at all time.

The orchestra: bemf chamber orchestra – a must hear event, i don’t care what they play. As they sat there playing super-energetically to the (silly) comedic storylines, you can’t help but giggling at the luxurious quality and realizing behind the “comedy” there is such precision and professionalism from the musicians. And that tiny plucking instrument: what fun! (see if you can spot on first picture, on top of harpsichord)

The cast: La serva padrona: Amanda Forsythe(soprano)=the servant,Douglas Willams(bass-baritone)=master, Livietta e Tracollo: Erica Schuller(soprano)=Livietta, Jesse Blumberg (bass)=Tracollo. I first knew of Amanda Forsythe at the bemf festival last year. She could have a very nice career in europe if she chose to but instead opts to stick around and remains a main staple in the bemf ensemble, which is truly a luxury for us sitting in Jordan Hall a short distance away enjoying her fantastic phrasing, comic timing, and wonderful warm soprano voice. Pairing with her was Douglas Williams, not sure if i’ve heard him before, but i very much like his voice, comic timing, acting, and musical phrasing as well. Together, they made 1 part of the double-bill outstanding. The other pair, i enjoyed their singing as well, but am not sure if it’s the storyline or the musical phrasing (i think it’s the latter) that somehow makes the first pair more standout. i know, perhaps it’s not making any sense to compare, but they were singing in parallel one after another! and you can really feel the contrast :-). Altogether, a very nice show though. I’d like a bit less “obvious” comedy, less … what do you call those guys… hmm, the english word escapes me.. CLOWN! yes, no need for clowns to keep audience laughing all the time, it takes the audience’s attention away from the GORGEOUS orchestra and singers’ ability to carry their own singing/phrasing. But that’s only minor, coz i know where to look, given the SUPERB seat Stray’s generous cousin gave me!!

Lastly, to all early music lovers, they’re staging all Monteverdi’s operas at the next festival in Jun 2015. I WILL BE HERE! That, and a whole bunch of concerts of madrigals i believe. very much looking forward! here’s their website, in case you need exact dates to sort out your traveling schedule :-). Oh, Stray, i found the program i attended 2 weeks ago at NEC w/ boston baroque: Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610. And a couple of clips of Ms. Forsythe’s singing: above from the last time i heard her live at the festival last year (from hand camera, with the same bemf orchestra), and below audio clip of her singing Dalinda in Ariodante from a live performance (btw, if you’d like to listen more let me know, it’s a nice cast of diDonato=Ariodante, Petibon=Genevra, Marie-Nicole Lemieux=Polinesso, Forsythe=Dalinda, and some bass :D)

semi public service: bemf @ Jordan Hall

As stray subtly reminded me on my way out of Jordan Hall last sunday… and many thanks to her pointer that i attended the Boston Early Music Festival ensemble and singers for their Thanksgiving concert on 01-dec-2013. I a bit short in time to really compose, so again this is sort of in running-on fashion and more about my reaction. If you’d like to hear my ravings for the orchestra and singers, I refer you to my ramblings 5.5 months ago… here’s a blurry pix from crappy phone, fantastic seats!

boston early music festival concert 01-dec-2013.

It is now established, if they’re playing, i MUST make time! this quality of singing and music making, at such close distance, no excuse. and on second round of Charpentier, i’m now a fan.
Here’s their playlist, a full afternoon of early music goodness. Now onto bullet-format:

* french is a great language to put to music, especially w/ their “sharp” ending (not sure i use right word here, but you know, “vAIN”, “retrAIT”, “douleuR”, works very nicely with music! my favorite of the afternoon was the piece just before intermission: Charpentier’s “Actéon” . On that same note, english and opera… argh!

* my approach has always been to just show up and listen to the music and interaction between voices and instruments if I don’t know anything about the works. For this type of concerts, think i’ve figured out the best approach now, especially after i sat through the entire afternoon having no clue what they were singing about and yet learned all about it in the program note while eating lunch afterward… recently i discovered that to fully appreciate Mahler, it’s good to arrive a bit early, spend all 20+ min reading all description + text + translation to get the background and gist/context. THEN, one can ignore all diction/words/etc and really pay attention to musical phrasing and interaction with orchestra and such. It worked to perfection with “Das Lied von der Erde” and would have been the case here as well i think, especially with so many operas that are all new to me. (But their 3pm concert time = I barely up just before sprinting for bus arriving at hall sweaty and starving.., so no prep time…)

* on that same no-prep note, I was first very happy to see Händel on the agenda, “Acis and Galatea”, no clue what it was about, but it’s Händel! So, 2 stories to report… first, a post-concert nice chat with stray, to which i mentioned it sounded a bit “generic” to my ears while stray-who-had-seen-live-performance-of-this-exact-opera-by-this-exact-ensemble-(and)-cast reported she appreciated it much more this time around… Why “generic”? I must first confess to spending the last 2 weeks listening to 3 full live recordings of “Ariodante” (1,2,3), 2 of “Agrippina”, 2x of “Arianna in Creta”, and 1/2 of “Il pastor fido”… so as soon as Händel music came up (very very distinctively Händel, one can’t miss it), my brain automatically “expected” to hear music from Ariodante or chorus from “Il pastor fido”… all new Händel sounds similar to my ears :-). Only after 50 rounds (or a certain particular performance) that different aspects which make each work unique begin to stand out… so there you have it, generic :-). I did sit their pondering the same regarding Charpentier, whether it sounds all new and fresh now but some time down the line it would fall into this category…

* aaand, the 2nd part of Händel, also related to un-prep… while singing going on, one can see the soprano and the tenor seem to be getting on quite well, but the bass is quite pissed, so pissed.. he scooped up (what i originally thought was sand) something and tossed at the tenor and tenor was DEAD!! I immediately looked forward to some triumphant music and the bass and soprano holding hand and live happily ever after! (the exact way it was in Vietnamese “Cinderella”** story!) Sadly, somber music and sad chorus finished off with all staring into distance..

so, to recap, super nice concert, very high quality of singing and playing, fantastic distribution of early works. I quite like the full scene settings instead of just selective arias. set the mood much better, especially if you know the work a bit more, as i hope to become.

** we vietnamese train our kids rigorously not to do mean things to other. in our folk story, “cinderella” suffered greatly, died and was reincarnated multiple times.. and it only ended after she boiled her step-sister alive, made her into a traditional vietnamese paste, put in jar and sent to step-mother who enjoyed eating everyday until the last when she saw her daughter’s skull and dropped dead of a heart attack, only THEN cinderella and the prince married and lived happily ever after8

early music bliss

This is more of a picture post in rambling mode, with no grammar check. Thanks to Stray’s multiple posts plus colleague’s interest as well as a case of grounded with no physical activity allowed, i finally caught on to the exciting boston early music festival right here in the back yard. Being a complete new-comer, i just signed on to Handel’s Almira and four “generic” shows of orchestra + dancer/singer type. But the more i listen, the more am toooootally in love with the instruments, and have been spending almost all my free time in the concert hall this past week. In addition, also had a chance to meet up with cool Stray and her charming sister for some nice discussion :-). So, some quick notes:
* Paul O’Dette is great with those plucking instruments, such a pleasure hearing him a whole evening playing solo and accompanying the wonderful voice of Emma Kirkby. I spent whole evening thinking how wonderful it would be to have these kinds of singing just outside my balcony 🙂

* Almira the “story” is downright annoying, 3 gals, 4 guys, typical Handel’s A loves B who loves C who loves A and D while F wants power and used to love C but now wants A… I made a mistake of reading the translation while listening to the singing, this would FAIL MISERABLY the Bechdel Test DtO mentioned in her fabulous interview with Margarethe Von Trotta.  Am planning to come back tomorrow for 4 more hours just because the orchestra was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.  from beginning to end i couldn’t help but smiling widely at the sharp, precise, exciting, fun sound coming from the pit.  wonder how i can get a seat to just get the orchestra pit view :-).  Actually the singing is also very nice.  The sounds carry VERY WELL to the top balcony of Cutler Majestic theater. couldn’t help but reminded of what Andreas Scholl said in his masterclass, that Handel simply highlights the voices and brings out its best.  For wednesday night performance, i liked Amanda Forsythe’s (Edilia) voice the best, followed by Ulrike Hofbauer’s (Almira).  Tyler Duncan’s (Raymondo) voice and arias are also very nice.  The rest of the voices are also great.  My only small complaint is the constant background/foreground “comedy”, much of it seemed forced to somewhat distract you from both singing and music.  Am more a fan of subtle comedy :-).Almira

*Following Almira, i was so psyched to hear the bemf orchestra + dancers the next night at the NEC. Though enjoyed greatly the quality of the band, it was actually a bit too heavy on violins for my taste. The same sort of all strings and early music combo which I confessed to not really understanding well last year. Think i have sorted out what i “hear”: contrast, exchanges, tension + releases. Which is why i love hearing picolo screaming off, or looovely baroque oboe.. but all strings is a bit tough. The dancing was somehow also surprisingly “tamed”, guess i’ve spent so much time on youtube looking at performances in white shirt, so the sort of costumes/make-ups these dancers were wearing seem a bit over-decorated while covering up all their muscles, WANT SHIRTLESS dancers! 🙂

*Next up was an “early” concert, Gli Incogniti led by superb violinist Amandine Beyer, 5pm on friday. Got back my BIIIG smile again, *love* the music, players, instruments, everything. Amandine’s solo is reallllly lovely, you know how well a single baroque violin can express emotion! She’s probably the best violist i’ve heard live so far. I somehow always wary of hearing solo violin playing music i don’t know… but perhaps it’s all in the superb player’s ability to draw you in. The other three players however were more or less accompanying her so you don’t hear their music well coz the violin is like a diva that takes up the entire hall. The double mounting of harpsichord on organ is quite clever.
*Next is the “generic” program i registered for, which turned out VERY NICE coz the orchestra again is AMAZING, to the point i somehow lost track of all singers + dancers (in same generic costumes…) It wasn’t until a female character died and got carried out that i was reminded hey this looks particularly like Orpheus and Euridyce, which of course it was :-). But back to the orchestra, much much more balance as there were only 2 violins, same number as woodwinds, theobo. I’m a bit puzzled though, that the music are quite coinciding: baroque oboes and violins always play together making the merged sound a bit tricky for the ear. This was the exact sound i heard from orchestra pit during Almira and was wondering whole time hmm what kind of horn is this… Similarly, the theobos are always playing at the same time with harpsichord, which essentially mean you can’t hear them at all unless you sit on first floor directly in front of them. Same goes for the single viola da gamba…
*Since i finally realized what a privilege it truly is to hear these superb quality musicians without having to fly to Europe, at this point i was determined to maximize my time with them. So, following the above show, Stray and I met up for a nice chill outside NEC while waiting for the next show at 11pm: more fantastic music with yet more singers. A very very nice show actually, all singers were great. This is the only time I’ve been on 1st floor in front of the singers, so their sound come directly at us instead of orchestra’s. Still, i loooove the single violinist who at one point played soooo softly and beautiful while accompanying 1 soprano. On top of it, finally now in front of the viola da gamba, looove the sound, as well as the body movement of the player. SOO much passion, power, energy, to bring the waaarm sound across.P1050926

So, this week, i’ve experienced some of the highest quality of music here in Boston, and can now conclude: in Jordan Hall, if you don’t hear the orchestra/singer well, it’s their problem, not the hall’s. For the opera, originally i was thinking: if one gets lucky with the orchestra, then the main soprano (in that order…) then one can have a very nice experience. Well, here you have both. The orchestra in particular, is truly top quality, one might even lose track of the singers just because the quality in the pit is so good it demands all your attention. Oh ja, finally, i have now full dosage of harpsichore and am no longer confused between harpsichord and harp :-D.

oh, lastly, so since i was spending alll these times sitting in Jordan Hall, the wandering thoughts creep in again… you know, Vesselina Kasarova and a baroque band… or Nathalie Stutzmann and her band Orfeo-55. Apparently Stray had not heard either of them!! so, here’re some links for her in case she comes by :-). Kasarova and Helsinki Baroque Orchestra last June, and Nathalie and her band playing fantastic baroque/Bach. I gonna send an email to bemf organizer, may be they would consider my request :-).