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      2011: Steffani's Niobe




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“BEMF operas set the gold standard for sophistication, elegance and artistic sensibility.”

The Boston Herald


Photo by Andre Costanini

WATCH a Concert Broadcast of BEMF performing excerpts from Steffani's Niobe, Regina di Tebe in Bremen, Germany.

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Watch a behind-the-scenes preview video

Take an INSIDE LOOK at the production

Join the Boston Early Music Festival in June for the North American premiere of Agostino Steffani’s Niobe, Regina di Tebe (Niobe, Queen of Thebes)—an operatic masterpiece first performed as the opening spectacle at the 1688 Carnival in Munich. Steffani was a force in shaping the operatic culture of Germany, and had an enormous influence on the music of Handel. Steffani’s gorgeous music will immerse the listener in a magical drama of soaring triumphs and searing tragedy.

Niobe recounts the story of the Queen of Thebes, one of the most tragic figures in Greek mythology, who ruled over the city of Thebes with her husband Anfione. Niobe’s immense pride earns her family the merciless wrath of the gods. With elegant costumes, breathtaking sets, and Baroque flying machines, this heart-wrenching story will come alive in a dazzling spectacle for both eye and ear.

This stunning production will feature a BEMF audience favorite, soprano Amanda Forsythe, in the title role, and the sensational French countertenor, Philippe Jaroussky, who received Europe’s prestigious 2008 Echo Award for Best Singer of the Year, as King Anfione. They head a cast of leading international opera singers, who perform alongside the thirty virtuosos who comprise our three-time Grammy nominated BEMF Orchestra, a colorful ensemble of Baroque dancers, a gifted children’s troupe, and many others.

Read a synopsis by Gilbert Blin and Ellen Hargis

Download the Niobe, Regina di Tebe libretto