Season 1: 2020-21

La Folia!

Premiered May 3, 2021

SalonEra caps off its first season with a party episode featuring soprano Sherezade Panthaki, countertenor Reginald Mobley, and lutenist Arash Noori. A celebratory vibe extends to the remote collaborations, featuring guests and contributing artists Maya Kherani, Shelby Yamin, Maria Romero, Karin Cuellar, Gail Hernandez-Rosa, Daphna Mor, Mélisande Corriveau, Rebecca Reed, Eric Milnes, and Mark Edwards, performing works by Monteverdi, Corelli, Purcell, Marais, Boismortier, and others.

The Orpheus Myth

Premiered April 19, 2021

No myth is more foundational to musicians than the tragic tale of Orpheus and his lute. On April 19th, SalonEra guests scholar Susan McClary, soprano Michele Kennedy, and tenor Jason McStoots bring the story to life through conversation and music that spans the centuries. Audiences will enjoy excerpts from Monteverdi’s Orfeo and Charpentier’s La descente d’Orphée aux enfers (in archival performances shared with SalonEra by the Boston Early Music Festival) as we consider different artistic interpretations of the story including Marcel Camus’ 1959 film Black Orpheus. Tune in for new remote collaborations of music by Monteverdi, Rameau, Maurice Green, and Vaughn Williams, each of whom used the Orpheus story to probe connections between humanity and music.

Medieval Visionaries

Premiered March 29, 2021

SalonEra illuminates the lives and works of two Medieval visionaries: Christine de Pizan and Guillaume de Machaut. The greatest poet-musician of the 14th century, Machaut was a trailblazer across multiple forms and genres. Pizan challenged misogyny in her writing, envisioning a feminist utopia in her famous book The City of Ladies, and championing equal rights for women. Multi-instrumentalist Scott Metcalfe, director of acclaimed vocal ensemble Blue Heron joins Medieval organetto virtuoso Catalina Vicens for music by Machaut, Binchois, Dufay, and others.

Women in Music

Premiered March 15, 2021

SalonEra marks Women’s History Month with a special episode on March 15th featuring instrumental and vocal music by Maddalena Sirmen, Barbara Strozzi, Isabella Leonarda, Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, and Clara Schumann. Featured guests include harpsichordist Byron Schenkman, violinist Shelby Yamin, and soprano Michele Kennedy, who share a commitment to researching, performing, and recording music by women composers.

Jewish Diaspora

Premiered March 1, 2021

Brooklyn-based Israeli multi-instrumentalist and singer Daphna Mor and performer/researcher Elizabeth Weinfield join host Debra Nagy for an exploration of Jewish identity and musical traditions. Daphna Mor will share how she has incorporated Jewish liturgical music into her performing life and demonstrate the art of Piyut, an oral tradition in which Jewish communities in Yemen, Iran, Morocco, Turkey, and elsewhere set ancient Hebrew liturgical texts to different tunes. Elizabeth Weinfield shares her research into Jewish Converso composer Leonora Duarte (1610 – ca. 1678), locating Duarte within the broader history of the Jewish Diaspora following the Spanish Inquisition.

Stylus Fantasticus

Premiered February 15, 2021

We’re joined by a spectacular team of musicians for a deep dive into the wild, exploratory music of 17th century Italy and Austria. Irish harpist Maria Cleary reimagines a famous Kapsberger prelude for her instrument, while baritone Jonathan Woody and violinists Tekla Cunningham and Julie Andrijeski share their passion for 17th-century music in conversations and newly-produced remote collaborations. These will include an ensemble sonata for violins and recorders by Schmelzer & Nicolaus Bruhns’ gorgeous cantata “Mein herz ist bereit.”

Afro-Caribbean Roots

Premiered February 1, 2021

Haitian baritone Jean Bernard Cerin probes the first iterations of Haiti in the Classical music tradition, keyboardist Henry Lebedinsky introduces modinhas by mulatto composer Joaquin Manoel da Câmara (approx. 1780-1840), and soprano Sherezade Panthaki contributes rarely-performed songs and arrangements by Guadeloupe-born composer Joseph de Bologne, the Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799).

Medieval Christmas

Premiered December 14, 2020

Members of Blue Heron (Scott Metcalfe, director) and Trobàr (featuring Elena Mullins and Allison Monroe) bring us “a captivating mix of mysticism and merriment” in this episode illuminating Medieval music for Advent and Christmas. We’ll also speak with composer Kevin Allen and preview his new work for Blue Heron, Puer nobis nascitur.

Unwritten Traditions

Premiered November 30, 2020

Masters of improvisation Robert Mealy, Shira Kammen, Priscilla Herreid, and Mark Edwards talk about their work and inspiration in reconstructing lost musical traditions from Medieval to Baroque.

Folk Influences

Premiered November 16, 2020

Three violinists – Gail Hernández Rosa, Edwin Huizinga, and David McCormick – keep one foot firmly in the Baroque world and the other just outside. They’ll share recent work spanning Celtic tunes, traditional music from Spain, and research focused on Black musicians at Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia’s Monticello.