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Concert Reviews
Festival Reviews
Opera Reviews
Recording Reviews
Lully’s Psyché
Lully’s Thésée
Conradi’s Ariadne

Recording Reviews

Lully’s Psyché
Released July 2008
Nominated for a 2008 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording

“This production is a considerable musicological achievement…and thankfully it is a substantial musical one, too.”


Psyché is one of Lully’s most expressive scores with a fine range of rich instrumental color…the Boston Early Music Festival show their huge experience of this repertoire under musical directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs…magnificent.”

BBC Music Magazine

“A richly satisfying recording that captures much of the freshness and elegance of thelive performance.  The cast includes the sopranos Carolyn Sampson and Karina Gauvin, both in radiant voice.”

The Boston Globe

“This recording is to be snapped up…the principals and instrumentalists play each number not only as if they had known it for years…but—significantly—with full and meticulous recognition of its place in the wider work…the characterization by [Carolyn] Sampson and [Karina] Gauvin of Psyché against Venus at the start of Act III, for example, is as gripping and compelling as anything Verdi wrote…this is certainly a recording to which one can return time and again, deriving something new and deeper each time.”

Music Web International

Lully’s Thésée
Released June 2007
Nominated for a 2007 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording

“An exemplary production…DVD, surely, is the best home for this proto-Wagnerian vision.”

BBC Music Magazine

“Even in sound alone Lully’s 1675 opera thrills from the opening.”

The Times

“Absorbing…handsomely performed by the Boston Early Music Festival & Chorus.”

The San Francisco Chronicle

“An impressive performance…a unique pleasure.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine

“Always astounding is the colorfulness of the instrumental sounds: in this the musicians under O’Dette and Stubbs seem to be even better than those of Christie…what perfect baroque singing can be.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine

“Superb…this will ravish the ear.”

Classics Today

“Three hours’ worth of splendid music, sent forth in wonderful Baroque sonorities.”

LA Weekly

“A fine, thought-provoking recording.”

The Toronto Globe and Mail

Conradi’s Ariadne
Released June 2005
Nominated for a 2005 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording

“This performance was recorded on the heels of a successful production at the Boston Early Music Festival in June 2003…the star here is Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin, whose gleaming sound, sensitive phrasing and dramatic commitment would dominate the action even if Ariadne weren’t given the minotaur’s share of material.”

Opera News

Ariadne is awash with beautiful music, and it moves along at a pace on this recording, no small thanks to the bright and efficient musical direction of the lutenists Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs.  Moments of high pathos are juxtaposed with comedic scenes that seem to anticipate Singspiel; tragic arias with arching vocal lines rest among volleys of highly decorated vocal pyrotechnics and grand choruses…this set is a pleasure from start to finish.”

Opera UK

Ariadne, the oldest example of an opera written for Hamburg, is not just a historical curiosity—it’s a truly spectacular work.”

The Guardian

“The singing is of exceptional quality. Karina Gauvin’s resolute yet clear voice is ideal for the demanding part of Ariadne.  Matthew White has a sweet, clear alto voice as Bacchus (disguised as the mortal Evanthes).  Ellen Hargis is terrific as Ariadne’s dragon of a mother…O’Dette and Stubbs provide impeccably rich continuo.  The Orchestra of the Boston Early Music Festival delivers strongly characterized ritornelli.  The overall performance is hugely enjoyable, making 176 minutes fly by without a mediocre moment.”

Gramophone Magazine