B i o g r a p h i e s
Hailed as “a fine, flexible ensemble” by The New York Times, Ensemble Origo is an early music organization founded in 2011 and directed by Connecticut-based musicologist and conductor Eric Rice. Its aim is to present vibrant performances of early music (from the Middle Ages through the baroque) that reflect the context in which the repertory was originally produced and heard; “Origo” is Latin for “earliest beginning,” “lineage,” or “origin.” The ensemble draws on a roster of professional musicians from Connecticut, Boston, and New York. Its debut recording, released on the Naxos label in January 2021, is “Orlande de Lassus – Le nozze in Baviera: Music for the 1568 Wedding of Wilhelm V of Bavaria and Renate of Lorraine." It includes Lasso’s moresche — settings of texts uttered in Neapolitan dialect by enslaved Africans from the Bornu Empire. Another recording still in post-production is "Master of the Notes – Martin Luther's Josquin" a reconstruction of a Luther's Deutsche Messe as it might have been performed in his orbit ca. 1530, which grew out of a concert program commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in 2017. A third recording project in post-production is “The Last Imperial Coronation – Music for the 1530 Coronation of Charles V in Bologna”; a collaboration with the Greenhouse Studios at the University of Connecticut on a multi-modal virtual reality presentation of the same event.
Artists for Fall 2019 Concerts of Le nozze in Baviera
Matthew Anderson is known for the warm tenor voice and polished musicality he brings to oratorio, opera, and musical theater. He sings regularly as a soloist in Boston’s renowned Emmanuel Music Bach Cantata Series. He appeared atthe Aldeburgh Festival as a soloist in the Saint Matthew Passion and was featured as a Virginia Best Adams Fellow and aria soloist in the Saint John Passion at the Carmel Bach Festival. He has portrayed the Evangelists in Bach’s Passions throughout the U.S. and is a two-time prizewinner in the American Bach Society Competition, among other prizes. He studied Classics at Harvard and voice at New England Conservatory. He spent two seasons as a vocal fellow at Tanglewoodand was a Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellow with Emmanuel Music. He also trained in the James Collier Apprentice Artist Program at Des Moines Metro Opera, the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, and the Cincinnati Opera Resident Ensemble.
Grammy-nominated British countertenor/tenor Ryland Angel has built an international reputation on both the opera and concert stage, in repertoire ranging from the Baroque to new operatic commissions in Europe and the USA. Operatic engagements include Monteverdi’s Orfeo, Gavin Bryars’s Doctor Ox’s Experiment (English National Opera), Fairy Queen (Barcelona), Gluck’s Orfeo (Koblenz), Amagdi (Karlsruhe),Venus and Adonis (Flanders Opera), Dido and Aeneas (Opéra Comique), The Play of Daniel (Spoleto) and many others. Angel has sung on over eighty recordings; recent highlights include recordings of Le Petit Prince by Georgia Shreve,La Sposa (Solo Luminus Records), Monteverdi’s ninth book of madrigals with ARTEK, Bleed for Throne (SXSW recording based on Game of Thrones), a new recording with El Mundo.
Tenor Michael Barrett has collaborated with the Boston Camerata, Huelgas Ensemble, Blue Heron, Vox Luminis, Netherlands Bach Society, L’Académie, Dünya, Seven Times Salt, and Exsultemus, and can be heard on the Harmonia mundi and Blue Heron labels. Michael directs Convivium Musicum, a chamber choir for Renaissance music, and the Meridian Singers, a chamber chorus at MIT. He has taught courses at Boston University and the Cambridge Center for Adult Education and served as a choral director at Bridgewater State University. He is an Assistant Professor at the Berklee College of Music, where he teaches courses in conducting and music history. With his wife Anney, he is co-owner of The Green Room, a multi-purpose arts studio in Union Square, Somerville, where he teaches voice and music theory. Michael holds an AB in music from Harvard, an MM in choir conducting from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, a diploma in Baroque and Classical singing from the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, and a DMA in choral conducting from Boston University.
Praised for her “light, fleet soprano” and “soaring, diamantine high notes” (Opera News), GRAMMY and JUNO nominated soprano Megan Chartrand feels equally at home singing early music, art song, chamber music and concert repertoire.
Notable solo performances include Dalila in Handel's Samson with the American Classical Orchestra and Mozart's Requiem with True Concord, both in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Megan has also sung Mozart's Exsultate, jubilate with Tucson's St Andrew's Bach Society; Kurt Weil's Seven Deadly Sins and Mahler's Fourth Symphony at the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival in Finland; and Clerambault's Médée with the American Classical Orchestra. She sings frequently with many of the most prestigious ensembles in North America including The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, The Clarion Music Society, The American Classical Orchestra, True Concord, The Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Yale Choral Artists, Seraphic Fire, and Ensemble Origo.
Cornettist and lutenist Nathaniel Cox began his music careeras a trumpet player, earning bachelor’s degrees in trumpet performance and Russian literature from Oberlin College and Conservatory in 2008. Mr. Cox was then awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study cornetto with Bruce Dickey at the Schola Cantorum in Basel, Switzerland. He started playing theorbo in 2011, and is now in demand both as a continuo player and a cornettist. Since moving back to the U.S. in 2014, he has performed with some of North America’s leading early music ensembles, including Apollo’s Fire, The Toronto Consort, Ensemble Caprice, and the Dark Horse Consort.
Mezzo-soprano Mary Gerbi is a versatile soloist and chamber musician whose repertoire ranges from medieval chant to new music premieres. She has been praised for her “earthy tone and crisp diction,” “trumpet-like projection,” and “impressive control” (Boston Musical Intelligencer); and for “project[ing] emotion with easy power” (Boston Globe). She has performed as an oratorio soloist with the Handel and Haydn Society, Emmanuel Music, Arcadia Players, Berkshire Bach Society, Boston Cecilia, and Maryland Choral Society. As an experienced interpreter of early music, she has presented multiple lecture-recitals, recorded extensively, and toured internationally. She has performed Baroque operatic roles with Connecticut Early Music Festival, Amherst Early Music, and La Donna Musicale. Also an advocate of new music, she has recorded with True Concord Voices and Orchestra, Lorelei Ensemble, and Boston Secession, among others. Raised in Millbrook, NY, she studied at Boston University and has resided in the Boston area ever since.
Lawrence Lipnik has performed with many acclaimed early music ensembles from Anonymous 4 to Piffaro and the Waverly Consort, and is a founding member of the viol consort Parthenia and vocal ensemble Lionheart. He has served as gambist and recorder player for Monteverdi’s Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria at Wolf Trap and Telemann’s Orpheus with the New York City Opera, and has prepared an authoritative edition of Cavalli’s La Calisto for the Juilliard School. Recent performance highlights include concerts with lutenist Paul O’dette of Dowland’s complete Lachrimae at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, appearances with the Venice Baroque Orchestra, ARTEK, The Folger Consort, TENET, the Bloomington Early Music Festival, and early opera residency at Carnegie Mellon. He is a contributor to The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare.
Liza Malamut, trombone, is an active performer throughoutthe United States and abroad. She has appeared with groups such as Dark Horse Consort, Boston Camerata, Piffaro, and others. Liza has a DMA in Historical Performance from Boston University. She received an American Fellowship from the American Association of University Women for her work on the integration of historical pedagogy with mainstream teaching. Liza served as Visiting Lecturer in Sackbut at Indiana University in Spring 2015 and 2018, and she most recently co-founded Incantare, an ensemble of violins and sackbuts performing works from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Sarah Mead teaches, performs, and proselytizes polyphony in the Boston area. The 2007 recipient of the Thomas Binkley Award from Early Music America, she is Professor of the Practice of Music at Brandeis University, and has taught sixteenth-century theory and performance practice at the Longy School of Music. Her handbook on Renaissance Theory is used in historical music programs around the country.She has given master classes, lectures, and workshops in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. She serves on the Boards of the Viola da Gamba Society of America and Early Music America, and is Conclave Music Director for the VdGSA.
Mack Ramsey has been a life-long specialist in performanceon early instruments, playing sackbut, recorder, Renaissance flute, and classical era trombones. He is a member of Dark Horse Consort and the Boston Shawm and Sackbut Ensemble, and he has often appeared with other wind bands, such as Piffaro and The Whole Noyse. Near home, he plays with Boston Baroque and Handel and Haydn Society. In 2015, he appeared with Dark Horse Consort in several Boston Early Music Festival productions. He frequently travels to perform in other ensembles including New York’s Green Mountain Project, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, The Toronto Consort, Mercury Houston, Opera LaFayette, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, and Clarion Society Orchestra.
Musicologist and conductor Eric Rice is a specialist in the history and performance of music composed before 1750. The 2019 recipient of Early Music America’s Thomas Binkley Award, he is Head of the Music Department at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, where he teaches music history, notation, and historical performance. He has published on medieval and Renaissance liturgical music and its relationship to architecture, politics, and secular music. In addition to his work with Ensemble Origo, he was Artistic Director of the Connecticut Early Music Festival and music director and tenor in the Boston-based ensemble Exsultemus. He earned his PhD at Columbia University, where he studied with Leeman Perkins and Susan Boynton, and his AB in English and music at Bowdoin College, where he studied with William Watterson and Robert Greenlee.
Erik Schmalz, an early brass specialist, can be heard onnumerous recordings, including a 2013 Grammy-nominated album by The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and The Trinity Baroque Orchestra. He works internationally with prestigious ensembles, including Tafelmusik, Handel and Haydn Society, Ciaramella, Green Mountain Project, The Toronto Consort, and Dark Horse Consort, performing on period trombones, renaissance slide trumpet, and recorder. In addition, he was cast as one of the seven instrumentalists in the Globe Theater’s productions of Richard IIIand Twelfth Night on Broadway. Mr. Schmalz received degrees in trombone performance from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He resides in Collinsville, Connecticut.
Hailed as “compelling to watch” (Tufts Daily) and praised for his “rich bass-baritone voice and eloquent projection” (Lawrence Budmen, writer and music consultant), Ulysses Thomas made his professional debut with Opera Boston/ Boston Baroque in Handel’s Semele, followedby his company debut with Boston Lyric Opera in Les contes d'Hoffmann and Don Giovanni. Most recently, he appeared as Antinoo in Boston Baroque’s acclaimed production of Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, for which the audio recording received two Grammy nominations. Mr. Thomas has appeared as a featured artist with Susquehanna Valley Chorale, The Spectrum Singers, Masterworks Chorale, Musica Sacra, Exsultemus, Blue Heron Renaissance Choir, The Concord Chorus, Cambridge Concentus, Newburyport Choral Society, Boston Choral Ensemble, and Emmanuel Music. He spent two summers as a vocal fellow at Tanglewood and was a finalist in the 2001 Orpheus National Competition for Vocalists, where he received the Richard Strauss Award.