Shannon Canavin, artistic director & soprano
Shannon Canavin, General Director and soprano, founded Exsultemus in 2003 to uncover and present uncommon yet remarkable works of music from the Renaissance and Baroque repertoires. Admired for her “radiant soprano” (Christoph Wolff, The Boston Musical Intelligencer), she has concertized throughout New England and the East Coast with ensembles including Apollo’s Fire, Newport Baroque, Arcadia Players, Amphion’s Lyre, the Choir of the Church of the Advent, and the Connecticut Early Music Festival. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from New England Conservatory in voice and theory and a Master’s degree from Case Western Reserve University in Early Music Performance Practices. An avid student and proponent of historically-informed period performance, Shannon has worked with such esteemed artists as Paul O’Dette, Kenneth Slowik, Ellen Hargis, Julianne Baird, Howard Crook, Judith Malafronte, and Jennifer Lane; she currently studies voice with Pamela Dellal. Shannon worked as General Manager, Marketing Coordinator, and Visa Specialist for the Boston Early Music Festival for eight years, and is director of Artist Visa Services LLC, specializing in preparing non-immigrant visa applications for foreign artists.
Matthew Anderson, tenor
Tenor Matthew Anderson has been praised for the warm tenor voice and polished musicality he brings to the repertoire of oratorio, opera, and musical theater. Matthew was the Second Prize winner in the 2010 Oratorio Society of New York Solo Competition. He has also been a prizewinner in the American Bach Society Vocal Competition and a finalist in the Liederkranz Art Song Competition. He sings regularly as a soloist in Boston’s renowned Emmanuel Music Bach Cantata Series and has appeared as a soloist with the Handel and Haydn Society, Cantata Singers, and Boston Modern Orchestra Project. He has appeared recently in Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion at the Aldeburgh Festival, conducted by Masaaki Suzuki; Carousel (as Mr. Snow), “A Richard Rogers Celebration” and “An Evening of Cole Porter” at Boston Symphony Hall with the Boston Pops conducted by Keith Lockhart; Stravinsky’s Renard at Tanglewood, directed by Mark Morris; Haydn’s Creation with Emmanuel Music; John Harbison’s Winter’s Tale with Boston Modern Orchestra Project; Britten’s Saint Nicolas with the chorus and orchestra of New England Conservatory; and Stravinksy’s Pulcinella and Britten’s Serenade with Discovery Ensemble. Matthew will join the Carmel Bach Festival in 2011 as aria soloist in Bach’s Saint John Passion under the baton of the festival’s new artistic director, Paul Goodwin. Matthew studied Classics at Harvard University and voice at the New England Conservatory.
Paul Guttry, bass-baritone
Bass-baritone Paul Guttry enjoys the variety offered by early music, oratorio, and opera. He has performed throughout the USA and internationally with Sequentia, Chanticleer, the Boston Camerata, and New York's Ensemble for Early Music. In Massachusetts, he has appeared with Emmanuel Music, Boston Early Music Festival, the Tanglewood Music Center, Cantata Singers, Boston Cecilia, Prism Opera, Intermezzo, Boston Revels, and Collage. He is a founding member of the Renaissance choir Blue Heron. During the coming season, Paul will perform the role of Trulove in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress with Emmanuel Music, appear with The Handel and Haydn Society in numerous concerts with Harry Christophers, and sing in the re-mounting of a widely performed French chanson program at Dumbarton Oaks with Blue Heron, with which he will also perform in New York's Music Before 1800 series in December. Paul has recorded Bach cantatas and the St. John Passion for Koch International, airs de cour and Kurt Weill's Johnny Johnson for Erato, a variety of medieval music for BMG, and both Byrd motets and American spirituals for Harmonia Mundi USA.
Andrus Madsen, harpsichord & organ
Harpsichordist and organist Andrus Madsen was born in Provo, Utah in 1969. He began his music studies at the piano at the age of nine, and by his early teens he was actively exploring the repertoire of the Baroque. At fourteen he began organ studies with Doug Bush, under whose tutelage he also developed an improvisational style in the language of late 17th-century northern Europe. Andrus studied harpsichord with Arthur Haas and clavichord and fortepiano with Peter Sykes. He holds a BM degree in organ performance from Brigham Young University, an MM degree in musicology and MA and DMA degrees in harpsichord performance from the Eastman School of Music. He currently resides in Newton, Massachusetts where he is the Music Director at Second Church in Newton. He is the director and founder of the ensemble Newton Baroque, and plays with les Tourbillon, Saltarello, La Sylva, and also appears with A Far Cry, and Open Gate. He strives to play written repertoire as if he is improvising, while his improvisations often sound as if they had been notated. His recent recording of music by Pachelbel recorded on organ, harpsichord, and clavichord is available on Raven CD Recordings.
Owen McIntosh, tenor
Tenor Owen McIntosh holds a Master’s Degree from New England Conservatory of Music. An international soloist featured in the 2009 Festival Ensemble Stuttgart, Owen is quickly gaining recognition at home and abroad. His most recent performances include the Evangelist in Telemann’s Passions of St. Luke and St. John, Coprimario soloist in Opera Boston’s production of The Nose, and a Jordan Hall performance of Benjamin Britten's Serenade for Tenor and Horn. Furthermore he was featured as Dema in the NEC production of L’Egisto, Robert in the Kurt Weill Festival’s Hin und Zurück in Dessau, Germany, Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte, and Rinuncio in Gianni Schicchi with the North Star Opera Repertory Theater. Owen is also a member of various Boston based music organizations including Exsultemus, Boston Baroque, Blue Heron, Juventas New Music, and Opera Boston.
Gerrod Pagenkopf, countertenor
Countertenor Gerrod Pagenkopf has been praised by the Houston Chronicle as having “an elegant bearing and a sweet, even sound,” and by the Boston Musical Intelligencer as “emitt[ing] one gorgeous mellifluousness after another.” Gerrod is a core artist with Grammy-nominated Ars Lyrica Houston, and has performed with ensembles including Mercury Baroque, the Bach Society of Houston, the Houston Chamber Choir, Orchestra X (Houston), the Green Bay Symphony, the Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee, Masterworks Chorale of Boston, Exsultemus, Blue Heron, Ensemble Altera, La Donna Musicale, and is a frequent soloist with Ensemble Suave. Gerrod has performed as soloist in such masterworks as Handel’s Messiah and Israel in Egypt; Bach’s Passions, Magnificat, and Mass in B Minor; Vivaldi’s Gloria and Dixit Dominus; as well as numerous other sacred works. He is also a choral scholar with Music at Marsh Chapel, Boston University, where he is a frequent soloist in the Bach Cantata series. A native of rural Wisconsin, Gerrod received a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Master’s of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Houston. Gerrod currently resides in Boston and studies with Dr. Rebecca Folsom.
Emily Walhout, cello
Emily Walhout grew up playing the cello, but discovered her love for Baroque bass lines at Oberlin Conservatory, where she took up the Baroque cello and the viola da gamba, thus launching an active career in early music. Emily was a founding member of La Luna, and was a member of The King’s Noyse from 1987 through 2004. Emily has played viola da gamba or principal cello for the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Seattle Baroque, Portland Baroque, Les Boreades, Les Violons Du Roy, New York Collegium, and Trinity Consort (Portland, OR). She has toured as a chamber musician throughout North America and Europe, and she has recorded extensively with the Boston Camerata, La Luna and The King’s Noyse. A resident of Waterown, MA, Emily maintains a small studio of private students and coaches several devoted viol consorts.
Brenna Wells, soprano
With a voice described as “fresh,” “ethereal,” and “elegant,” soprano Brenna Wells is garnering attention for her varied performances. Her recent operatic roles include La Poesie and La Paix in Les Arts Florissants; Galatea in Acis and Galatea; Venus in L’Europe Galante; Sandman in Hansel and Gretel; Anna II in The Seven Deadly Sins; and Première Nymphe de l’Acheron in the Boston Early Music Festival’s production and Grammy-nominated recording of Lully’s Psyché. Brenna has sung and recorded with such acclaimed ensembles as the BEMF Orchestra, Blue Heron, Britten-Pears Baroque Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire, Boston Baroque, Opera Boston, L’Académie, and the Handel and Haydn Society. She has appeared in many festivals and programs world-wide including the London Handel Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Amherst Early Music Festival, BBC Proms, and in both 2008 and 2009, she was selected to perform in the Early Music Seminars at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice, Italy. She is also featured on two new BEMF recordings, Marc-Antoine Charpentier's Actéon and John Blow's Venus and Adonis, both on the CPO label. Last season, Brenna made her soloist debut at Symphony Hall under the direction of Harry Christophers and appeared as the First Witch in the BEMF Chamber Opera production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. During the 2011-2012 season Brenna will perform as the soprano soloist in Bach's Christmas Oratorio with the Harvard-Radcliff Chorus and will sing the role of La Musique in Charpentier's Les Plaisirs de Versailles with the L'Académie ensemble. She also returns as a BEMF Vocal Ensemble member in their productions of Charpentier's La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers and La Couronne de Fleurs, singing the roles of Enone and Amaranthe, respectively.