The Boston Early Music Festival has released the world premiere studio recording of Agostino Steffani’s Niobe, Regina di Tebe on the Erato/Warner Classics label, with production support from Radio Bremen (Germany). Originally presented as the 2011 Festival Operatic Centerpiece, the 3-CD set of Niobe is the seventh in BEMF’s series of Baroque Opera recordings that have earned four GRAMMY nominations for Best Opera Recording. The release 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. Concertmaster Robert Mealy leads the 35 member BEMF Orchestra and Gilbert Blin serves as Drama Coach.
Composed in 1688 and inspired by the mythological tale by Ovid, Niobe tells the tragic story of the Queen of Thebes and her husband Anfione. Consumed by hubris, Niobe mocked the gods who slay her children as punishment for her arrogance. Overwhelmed with grief, Anfione took his own life upon learning of the deaths. With her entire family gone, Niobe turned to stone, from which her tears now endlessly flow.
2016 GRAMMY Award Nominee – Best Opera Recording
Diapason d'Or de l'année 2015
2015 ECHO Klassik Award Winner — World Premiere Recording of the Year
2015 Gramophone Award Shortlist – Baroque Vocal
"The Boston Early Music Festival’s masterful interpretation of Niobe, Regina di Tebe is a vital breath of fresh air." -Gramophone
Recording of the Month, Gramophone, March 2015
"✭✭✭✭" -BBC Music Magazine
"✭✭✭✭" -The Times, London
Audio samples are available at warnerclassics.com.
June 2011 Production Photos by André Costantini. Click to enlarge.
Enthusiastic, sold-out audiences greet BEMF during a 7-city tour of Europe presenting concert performances of Steffani's Niobe!
To celebrate its new CD on the Erato/Warner Classics label, BEMF embarks on a two-week tour of Spain, France, the Netherlands, and Germany with a concert performance of Agostino Steffani's Niobe, Regina di Tebe starring Philippe Jaroussky and Karina Gauvin. First presented as the operatic centerpiece of the June 2011 Boston Early Music Festival, this concert tour will feature the over 50 artists, led by Musical Directors Paul O'Dette and Stephen Stubbs, Drama Coach Gilbert Blin, and Concertmaster Robert Mealy.