The Cambridge Chamber Ensemble (CCE) mission is threefold : to present lesser known operatic gems that deserve to be widely heard; to make these gems easily accessible to the entire community through reasonable pricing; and to engage both emerging artists and established performers to foster a communal musical experience for cast and audiences.

CCE just finished its third season, presenting Handel’s Baroque opera “Silla”.  Our production features a new English translation by Executive Director and Producer Martha Birnbaum, making this important work directly accessible to the audience. The tyrannical emperor Silla made short work of his enemies, quashed civic liberties, and forced his attentions on the wives and lovers of his subordinates. Such behavior has been in the spotlight in recent years and we will present this work as captivating political theater. For this show we are affording local art students the opportunity to display and sell their works related to “freedom of expression” around the theater hall. The venue is the accessible Warehouse XI in Somerville, MA.

As we grow, CCE plans to produce 1 – 2 operas a year focusing on lesser-known excellent pieces, seeking out great works by women and minority composers.

We are developing an outreach program for senior residences and nursing homes where we will present shorter pieces for the enjoyment of people with limited ability and means to travel for entertainment. Our Director Martha saw this need when her mother was in a nursing home and lamented the lack of artistic stimulation in that confined environment. 

We will continue our yearly “Magic Flute” event in which young emerging singers have the opportunity to perform a whole role. This event has proved a popular way for young artists to star under supportive conditions. Mozart’s “Magic Flute” with its 14 roles lets CCE give many singers a chance to perform.


Martha Birnbaum, Executive Director. Martha is founder and director of The Cambridge Chamber Ensemble (CCE), which provides local singers and instrumentalists the opportunity to perform in an intimate, supportive environment. She has directed CCE's productions of Dido and Aeneas and Il Giuoco del Quadriglio. An accomplished linguist, she provided her own copyrighted English translation for Il Giuoco. In addition, she has sung Belinda in Dido and Aeneas, Dr. Blind in Die Fledermaus, Dame Hannah in Ruddigore, and Leila in Iolanthe. She has been Stage Manager of The Mikado and The Rough Faced Girl for Mass Theatrica, and several MITGSP productions. She is on the Board of Directors of the New England Gilbert and Sullivan Society (NEGASS) and Editor-in-Chief emerita of its newsletter, The Trumpet Bray. 

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