Donald E. Osborne, Director
California Artists Management
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Susan Endrizzi Morris, Director
California Artists Management
P.O. Box 2479, Mendocino, CA
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Ellen Hargis
and
Paul O'Dette

 

 

Friends and colleagues for over 25 years, Ellen Hargis and Paul O’Dette bring an incomparable spirit of drama, vivid musical imagination and fun to their voice and lute collaborations.  Each performer is a virtuoso in his respective field. The artists' mutual commitment to performance practice, their avid interest in the undiscovered, and a natural ability to communicate the essence of this intimate repertoire make their concerts uniquely memorable. The Duo has toured around the globe, performing to rave reviews in Japan, Russia, Spain, France, Austria, England, Canada, and across the United States. The Hargis / O’Dette Duo has two recordings on the Noyse Productions label, in addition to dozens of recorded collaborations with leading American and European early music ensembles. The Duo is featured twice in the new Norton Anthology: the Caccini example and Dowland’s Flow my tears.

 Soprano Ellen Hargis is one of the outstanding Artists of our day." - Pittsburgh Tribune

Soprano Ellen Hargis is one of North America’s premier interpreters of 17th and 18th century music, specializing in ballads, opera and oratorio. Called "the baroque music diva" by New Yorker magazine, she works with the foremost period music conductors, including Harry Bicket, Jane Glover, Paul Goodwin, Daniel Harding, Monica Huggett, Nicholas Kraemer, Gustav Leonhardt and Andrew Parrott. She has guested with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, The Virginia Symphony, Washington Choral Arts Society, Long Beach Opera, CBC Radio Orchestra, the Seattle and Freiburg Baroque Orchestras, and performs with The King's Noyse, The Newberry Consort, Tragicomedia, Piffaro, Theatre of Voices, the Mozartean Players, Fretwork and Andrew Lawrence-King and the Harp Consort, and the Mark Morris Dance Group. Ms. Hargis has appeared at the Berkeley Festival, the Utrecht Festival, The St. Petersburg Early Music Festival and the Resonanzen Festival in Vienna, and she has sung leading roles at the Boston Early Music Festival in every opera production since 1987.  Her discography embraces medieval to contemporary music. Recent releases include Beach’s St. Matthew Passion for Smithsonian Records, and the lead role of Aeglé in Lully’s Thésée as well as Conradi’s opera Ariadne for CPO - both nominated for Grammy Awards. Ms. Hargis was 2011-12 visiting Artist at the Eastman School of Music, teaches voice at Case Western Reserve University, and is Artist-in-Residence with the Newberry Consort at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University.

 

"O'Dette is the greatest living lutenist."-  Stereophile

 

Paul O'Dette has been called "the clearest case of genius ever to touch his instrument." (Toronto Globe and Mail) His performances at major international festivals are often singled out as the highlight concert, including festivals in New York City, Boston, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Vancouver, throughout Europe, Russia, South America, Austraia and Japan.  Best known for his recitals and virtuoso solo lute music recordings, O'Dette maintains an active international career as an ensemble musician, performing with William Christie, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Jordi Savall, Christopher Hogwood, Nicholas McGegan, Philippe Jaroussky, Andrew Parrott, Tafelmusik and Parley of Instruments. He is a member of the acclaimed ensemble Tragicomedia.  Paul O'Dette directs Baroque orchestras on both sides of the Atlantic, including Portland Baroque, Tafelmusik, Apollo's 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 O’Dette has recorded over 130 CDs, his solo recordings winning prizes and rave reviews. Artistic Director for the Boston Early Music Festival, the first three opera recordings he directed were each nominated for a Grammy Award.  Paul O’Dette has been Director of Early Music at the Eastman School of Music since 1976.

 

 

HARGIS / O’DETTE DUO - PROGRAMS FOR 2013-2014

 

Lovesick

Heartache, Jealousy, Madness, Insomnia, Death and the Cure are explored through the

Music of Monteverdi, Rossi, Mazzochi, Peri, Castaldi & Kapsberger

Ellen Hargis, soprano / Paul O’Dette, chitarrone

 

Wait!  I’m singing now…..

Cantatas & chitarrone solos from the pens of 17th century Venetian & Roman composers. 

Singers and Singing: Barbara Strozzi’s hilarious cantata L’astratto, Antonio Cesti’s sarcastic Aspette!  adesso canto and Alessandro Scarlatti’s extraordinary L’Orfeo expressing the voice of the legendary singer of Thrace. Kapsberger and Piccinini chitarrone solos explore the virtuoso repertoire of the 17th-century’s most prized vocal accompanying instrument.

 

THE POWER OF LOVE is elegant, playful and even naughty 17th century English music, taking its title from the John Wilson song.  Poetry by Waller, Griffin and Carew provides lyrics for songs by composers Wilson, Henry Lawes, Charles Colman and Nicholas Lanier.                                    (Noyse Productions CD release in 2005)

 

 

 

THE CRITICS

“Hargis has a pure, clarion tone. Her high notes are brilliant.”                                                                                                                         OperaTattler.com – September 20, 2010

 

"Ellen Hargis, a soprano who specializes in early music, and Paul O'Dette, a superb performer on the lute and theorbo, joined forces for "Amour, Cruel Amour," a program that explored both the high drama and delicate subtleties of 17th century love songs. The highlights were the Italian songs by Luigi Rossi. Ms. Hargis' voice is attractive and nicely supported, and she did a fine job of shaping and conveying the spirit of each of the pieces. Mr. O'Dette was in good form as well, both in the energy and elegance of his accompaniments and in his solo turns."            

                                                            The New York Times

 

"Soprano Ellen Hargis' lustrous voice has the clarity and ring of fine crystal. Lutenist Paul O'Dette's refined technique lets his delicate instrument sing with the naturalness and ease of breathing. When the two artists make music together, they create magic."                

                                                            (Cleveland) The Plain Dealer

 

"Hargis' attractive spinto voice handled everything comfortably, with superb diction and especially potent dramatic power. Yet this is a true team at work, for O'Dette has a whimsical musical personality of his own. They have fun performing together."              

                                                            Los Angeles Times

 

"The success was resounding because of the artists' inspired handiwork. "The Power of Love" offered a neat and relatively concise survey, considering the massive options. Songs in Italian, French and English hovered around the general theme of romantic spring fever and, in some of the most affecting pieces, the sweet woe of love gone astray. O'Dette is one of the world's finest practitioners on the lute. Hargis cuts through the ancient character of the music with an assured tone and an ever-lucid approach to the material, in all languages."                                                                                                           Santa Barbara News Press

 

"Hargis & O'Dette were a joy to hear."                       

                                                            The Georgia Strait

 

MEMORABLE BLEND OF POWER and DELICACY.   

                                                            The Edmonton Journal

 

 “Did anyone know that Hargis had such coloratura in her?  The encore was Rodgers and Hart’s ‘My Funny Valentine’ – taken very seriously, sung very straight, with a delicate weight of feeling the song seems to have been waiting for all these years and now, miraculously, was receiving.”

                                                            The Boston Globe

 

CONCERT ASTOUNDS “Fortunately, both Hargis and O’Dette perform as to the manner born, so that no seam shows between the original tune and elaborated performance of it.”                                                                         (Albany, NY) TIMES UNION

 

“Ellen Hargis performs Italian and English songs with such an inimitable charm you might believe she grew up among English peasants or Italian fishermen, learning the melodies from her grandmother. She has a remarkable ability to get inside a song. Her voice is clear as crystal and sonorous as the ring of a bell. Hargis often performs with the wonderful lutenist Paul O'Dette who provides exceptional accompaniment for her impressive and hauntingly pure soprano.”  

                                                                  Moscow News

 

Concert brings the Elizabethan to Life: performance reconstructs historic with impressive results.

 “O'Dette was faultlessly fluent on his lute. Hargis's soprano rang clearly and eloquently. Two songs were shattering: Flow My Tears and In Darkness Let Me Dwell. Hargis’ singing was moving beyond words.  The house was deservedly full.”                           

                                                            Vancouver Sun

 

No music is more self-consciously exquisite than the 17th-century love songs that soprano Ellen Hargis and lutenist Paul O'Dette played. Yet these songs reached to the depths of amorous despair and the giddiest joys of infatuation. The high artifice did not conceal the emotions; it distilled them and displayed their concentrated essences. Hargis' pure, open sound quivered at the ends of Dowland's expiring phrases, and her dynamics rose hopefully and faded resignedly. Through it all, she maintained an achingly beautiful sound, exactly capturing Dowland's ethos. French sounded delicious coming from Hargis' mouth, and deliciousness is the point of the French music. Her diva flare and fire and explosive ornamental outbursts gave these songs hair-raising immediacy.”                                        Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

 

 

“Soprano Ellen Hargis and lutenist Paul O'Dette have unimpeachable credentials. Ms. Hargis, who sings with a clear tone and minimal vibrato, brought a hint of introspective drama to Monteverdi's Ohimè ch'io cado and Quel sguardo sdegnosetto, and a palpably forlorn account of Si dolce è'l tormento. Much of Ms. Hargis's expressive charm is in her flexibility, a quality heard to best effect in three songs by Barbara Strozzi. Her thoughtful pacing and the ease with which she moved through the gentle chromaticism of Respira, mio core and the increasingly florid writing in L'amante segreto gave these songs a monumental quality, as if operatic fragments. A vigorous reading by both gave Questa è la nuova a folkish, almost rustic quality. Mr. O'Dette accompanied on the chitarrone, a deferential instrument by nature, made to provide support. But he also played solo works by Giovanni Girolamo Kapsberger and Bellerofonte Castaldi that ask for more, and Mr. O'Dette responded with the kind of virtuosic detail and interpretive fluidity he has always brought to his lute performances.”                  

                                                            New York Times

 

Five stars – THE POWER OF LOVE

“Against a background of civil and religious war pitting the Cavaliers, partisans of King Charles I, against the Puritans, enemies of music and entertainments, this album is dedicated to the power of love, which remains ever indifferent to the vagaries of the world at large. Above and beyond these elements are Ellen Hargis’ and Paul O’Dette’s magical performances – or rather incarnation – of melancholy, regret, and love’s urgency, which confirms that the twenty-five-year partnership between the soprano (who is by turns charming, afflicted and hedonistic) and the lutenist/theorbist has resulted in such a close rapport that each has become the ‘double’ of the other.  The entire recording deserves the highest praise, including the unexpected and humorous ‘dessert’, Richard Rodgers’ My Funny Valentine.”

                                                            Goldberg Magazine

 

“This splendid CD samples the ring song repertoire from mid-17th century England.  The songs, coming from a time of social and political upheaval and great musical experimentation, vary greatly in style and effect.  Rustic-sounding songs in lively jig rhythms are side by side with mannerist chromatic protestations of passion. The performances are vibrant, sensitive and finely nuanced, underscoring the music’s drama, pathos and humor.”           

                              Howard Posner:  Lute Society of America / LSA Quarterly