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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 15, 2016

Boston Early Music Festival wins its second GRAMMY Award for Best Opera Recording for Steffani’s Niobe, Regina di Tebe

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Cambridge, MA - The Boston Early Music Festival recording of Agostino Steffani’s Niobe, Regina di Tebe for ERATO/Warner Classics has won a 2016 GRAMMY Award in the category of Best Opera Recording. This is BEMF’s second consecutive GRAMMY Award in this category following the 2015 win for Charpentier’s La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers. The award is shared by BEMF Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs and Producer Renate Wolter-Seevers, who collaborated on all five of BEMF’s GRAMMY nominated opera recordings, as well as lead soloists Karina Gauvin and Philippe Jaroussky.

STEFFANI'S NIOBE, REGINA DI TEBE
Originally presented as the 2011 Festival Operatic Centerpiece, Niobe, Regina di Tebe is the seventh in BEMF’s series of Baroque Opera Recordings. Released in January 2015 on the ERATO/Warner Classics label, the 3-CD set is led by Musical Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs and features a stellar cast including soprano Karina Gauvin in the title role of Niobe and countertenor Philippe Jaroussky reprising his role as King Anfione from the original 2011 production. BEMF Orchestra Director Robert Mealy leads the 35 member BEMF Orchestra and BEMF Opera Director Gilbert Blin serves as Drama Coach. The recording has been met with enormous acclaim, including the 2015 ECHO Klassik for World Premiere Recording of the Year, a Diapason d’Or de l’Année, and the 2015 Gramophone Award Shortlist.

ABOUT THE BEMF BAROQUE OPERA PROJECT
One of BEMF’s main goals is to unearth and present lesser-known Baroque operas performed by the world’s leading musicians armed with the latest information on period singing, orchestral performance, costuming, dance, and staging. BEMF operas reproduce the Baroque’s stunning palette of sound by bringing together today’s leading operatic superstars and a wealth of instrumental talent from across the globe to one stage for historic presentations, all zestfully led from the pit by the BEMF Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, and creatively reimagined for the stage by BEMF Opera Director Gilbert Blin. Since 2008, the BEMF Chamber Opera Series has taken this internationally acclaimed musicianship, scholarship, and direction and focused it on small-scale works in intimate productions each Thanksgiving weekend. Two productions from the Chamber Opera Series have also been presented on tour across North America: Handel’s Acis and Galatea in 2011 and Charpentier’s La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers and La Couronne de Fleurs in 2014.

In 2004, BEMF initiated a series of recordings to preserve its groundbreaking Baroque opera creations and to attempt to fill the gaps in the current discography of Western opera. The first three CDs in the series earned GRAMMY nominations for Best Opera Recording and Charpentier’s La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers and La Couronne de Fleurs won in this category at the 2015 GRAMMY Awards. An eighth recording, Handel’s Acis and Galatea, was released in November 2015 on the German label CPO (Classic Produktion Osnabrück).

RESOURCES
Images of BEMF’s 2015 Awards
http://www.bemf.org/pages/press/images_awards.htm

Images from the original 2011 production of Steffani's Niobe, Regina di Tebe
http://www.bemf.org/pages/press/images_niobe.htm

Video of "Sfere amiche" from BEMF's original 2011 production of Steffani's Niobe, Regina di Tebe
https://youtu.be/_pbb5S19V1g

Video of "Trà bellici carmi" from BEMF's original 2011 production of Steffani's Niobe, Regina di Tebe
https://youtu.be/y1ggl1-lALk

ABOUT THE BOSTON EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL
Recognized as the preeminent early music presenter and Baroque opera producer in North America, the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF) has been credited with securing Boston's reputation as "America's early music capital" (The Boston Globe). Founded in 1981, BEMF offers diverse programs and activities, including two GRAMMY Award-winning opera recordings, an annual concert series that brings early music's brightest stars to the Boston and New York concert stages, and a biennial week-long Festival and Exhibition recognized as the "world's leading festival of early music" (The Times, London). The 19th Boston Early Music Festival will take place from June 11-18, 2017, and will feature the fully staged performances of André Campra's Le Carnaval de Venise as the Centerpiece Opera. BEMF's Artistic Leadership includes Artistic Directors Paul O'Dette and Stephen Stubbs, Opera Director Gilbert Blin, and Orchestra Director Robert Mealy.

For more information, images, press tickets, or to schedule an interview, please contact Kathleen Fay at 617-661-1812 or email kathy@bemf.org.

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