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Boston Baroque’s New Performing Version of Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria, led by Martin Pearlman and starring Fernando Guimarães and Jennifer Rivera, receives two 2016 GRAMMY Nominations: Best Opera Recording and Best Engineered Album (Classical)   

NEW YORK, NY – December 8, 2015 – Boston Baroque is now five-time GRAMMY-nominated, thanks to the two nods received for the ensemble’s recording of Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria,  a new performance version created by Boston Baroque’s founder and Music Director Martin Pearlman and released on on LINN Records. The nominations include: Best Opera Recording – Martin Pearlman, conductor; Fernando Guimaraes & Jennifer Rivera; Thomas C. Moore, producer and Best Engineered Album, Classical - Robert Friedrich, engineer; Michael Bishop, mastering engineer (Martin Pearlman, Jennifer Rivera, Fernando Guimarães & Boston Baroque).  Boston Baroque, the first permanent Baroque orchestra ever established in North America, is widely regarded as “one of the world’s premier period-instrument bands” (Fanfare). The ensemble produces lively, emotionally charged, groundbreaking performances of Baroque and Classical works—performed on instruments and using performance techniques that reflect the eras in which the music was composed.  Previous GRAMMY nominated Boston Baroque recordings include Handel’s Messiah (Telarc) – 1992, Monteverdi’s Vespers (Telarc) – 1999, and Bach’s Mass in B Minor (Telarc) – 2000.
May 12th, 2015 marked the North American release of Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria released on Linn Records, which in addition to its two GRAMMY nods has received significant critical praise:
“This performance is technically solid with some fine playing from the orchestra.” - The Guardian
“The recording is both excellent in its own right and new.” – Brooklyn Rail
“The production as a whole treats the work almost like a brand new opera. It renews appreciation… with a fine dramatic instinct that puts some of today's literary adaptations to shame.” – Opera News
“Pearlman provides modern audiences with a unique view of early music. As no art is developed in a vacuum, the vast influence of Monteverdi on all that came after is amply illustrated on this fine recording.” – All About Jazz
Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria – Monteverdi’s setting of Ulysses’ return from the Trojan War from Homer’s Odyssey – is unquestionably one of the three pillars that place Monteverdi among the greatest of opera composers. But after its 1640 premiere, Ulisse dropped from view until late in the nineteenth century, when a manuscript was rediscovered in Vienna. Boston Baroque’s new performing version is a highly considered approach to all aspects of the score and performance, ensuring this version is true to Monteverdi's original vision.  “This work has always held a special place for me," states Music Director Martin Pearlman, “both for the subject matter, pulled from a great literary masterpiece, and for its great music. The surviving material, however, includes only one manuscript, and a hastily and sometimes carelessly written copyist’s score most likely written after Monteverdi’s death.  The lack of details, pose challenges for a performance that therefore requires many decisions to fill in the gaps in the manuscript.  For Boston Baroque’s production, every note and word of the surviving manuscript were checked, a process that led to countless small adjustments plus a few major ones, to what is found in modern editions, and a variety of interpretative decisions were made. 

The Boston Baroque recording of this riveting human drama comes to life through an enviable cast, led by Portuguese tenor and baroque specialist Fernando Guimarães in the title role, alongside the internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Jennifer Rivera as his loving wife Penelope.

To further illuminate the score, a thirty-minute “Director’s Cut” of conductor Martin Pearlman’s highlights from the opera can be heard here:

Founded in 1973 as “Banchetto Musicale” by Music Director Martin Pearlman, Boston Baroque’s orchestra is composed of some of the finest period-instrument players in the United States, and are frequently joined by the ensemble’s professional chorus and by world-class, top instrumental and vocal soloists from around the globe. The ensemble presents an exciting annual subscription series consisting of five programs performed at New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall in Boston, Massachusetts and also at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts for their annual New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day festivities.
Boston Baroque’s many career milestones include the American premiere of Rameau’s Zoroastre in honor of his 300th birthday in 1983, a Mozart opera series including The Marriage of Figaro and Così fan tutte as well as the American period-instrument premieres of Mozart’s Don Giovanni in 1986 and The Magic Flute in 1989. The orchestra also presented a revelatory exploration of the complete Beethoven symphonies on period instruments. In 1998 – 1999, the ensemble gave the modern premiere of The Philosopher’s Stone, a singspiel newly discovered to include music by Mozart which shed fresh light on his canon.
In recent years, Boston Baroque presented Boston’s first complete cycle of the surviving operas of Monteverdi with new performing editions by Martin Pearlman of L’incoronazione di Poppea and Il ritorno d’Ulisse and an internationally acclaimed series of Handel operas which include Agrippina, Alcina, Xerxes, Giulio Cesare, Semele, and Amadigi di Gaula. In May 2012, their performances of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, which incorporated dancers and original choreography, met with outstanding critical acclaim.
Vibrant, richly detailed performances, sophisticated interpretative skills and an evocative command of various composers and styles are a few of the hallmarks of esteemed American conductor Martin Pearlman. An international conductor known for his crisp communicative skills, Pearlman is also a highly regarded scholar, composer and an acclaimed three-time Grammy nominated recording artist. Founder and music director of the Boston Baroque, Mr. Pearlman enjoys an active guest conducting career on both the opera and orchestral stages.
Among the orchestras and opera companies that Mr. Pearlman has appeared with are Minnesota Orchestra, Omaha Symphony, Alabama Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Springfield Symphony (Massachusetts), New World Symphony, National Arts Center Orchestra of Ottawa, The Washington Opera, Utah Opera, Opera Columbus, and Boston Lyric Opera, to name a few.
Martin Pearlman founded the first permanent Baroque orchestra in North America with Boston Baroque in 1973-74. Since then, he has led the Boston, Massachusetts-based ensemble in numerous American and world period-instrument premieres of operas, choral, and instrumental works, including Mozart operas and major works of Bach, Beethoven, Handel, Monteverdi and Rameau. In addition to directing Boston Baroque in its annual subscription series, he has taken the ensemble on tour nationally and in Europe, and has made over 22 recordings for Telarc International, three of which have been Grammy nominated, cementing the organization’s reputation as America’s premiere period-instrument orchestra. Mr. Pearlman and the Boston Baroque, as of 2012, became the first American orchestra to record with the UK label Linn Records.
Pearlman is the only conductor from the period-instrument field to have performed live on the internationally televised Grammy Awards show.
In addition to prepared new performing versions of Monteverdi's operas Il ritorno d'Ulisse and L'incoronazione di Poppea, Mr. Pearlman has also edited a new critical edition of Armand-Louis Couperin's complete keyboard works, and created a new orchestration and edition of Cimarosa's Il maestro di cappella.
Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria
Opera in a prologue and three acts in a new performing version by Martin Pearlman
Music by Claudio Monteverdi/Libretto by Giacomo Badoaro (1602–1654)
Complete information on this recording can be found at:
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Journalists and Program Directors: To audition and download the recording for review or radio airplay, please visit:
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