by Mike Telin
No mythological character has inspired musicians more than Orpheus. Legend has it that his music was so powerful that trees and mountains bowed in his presence — his song so beautiful that he convinced the ruler of the underworld to allow him to bring his love Eurydice back from the underworld.
The legend will be brought to life on Thursday, October 7, when Les Délices debuts “Song of Orpheus” on Marquee TV. The program features rarely-heard cantatas by Jean-Philippe Rameau and Philippe Courbois performed by Hannah De Priest, soprano, Jonathan Woody, baritone, Shelby Yamin, violin, Debra Nagy, oboe, Rebecca Reed, gamba and cello, and Mark Edwards, harpsichord. The program will also include the premiere of Woody’s cantata Much Love Betray’d. The online-only event will remain available on demand through November 6. Click here for tickets.
Woody’s performance resumé includes two national tours with Apollo’s Fire, and appearances as soloist with period groups including the Boston Early Music Festival, Tafelmusik, Trinity Wall Street, New York Polyphony, Bach Collegium San Diego, and New York Baroque Incorporated. But he is also a leader in the historical performance performer/composer movement.
During a recent telephone conversation, Woody said that his dedication to keeping the early music canon alive can be traced back to when he was a student of musicologist and historical performance pioneer Bruce Haynes. “I was lucky enough to have him as a professor at McGill University, and he definitely engendered the mentality that the canon of early music could remain alive, and that we had the power to continue to add to it and make it something that wasn’t just stuck in the past.”