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BEMF OPERA CDS

Acteon The Boston Early Music Festival has released its fourth Baroque
opera CD on the German label CPO with support from Radio Bremen. Marc-Antoine Charpentier's Actéon, performed in the inaugural season of the BEMF Chamber Opera Series in November 2008, was recorded in the acoustically brilliant Sendesaal in Bremen in September 2009. BEMF's recording will also feature two additional secular, theatrical works by Charpentier; the cantata Orphée descendant aux Enfers and a divertissement for the play La Pierre Philosophale.

Written during the spring hunting season in 1684, Charpentier's Actéon, is a gorgeous retelling of the Greek myth in which the title character discovers the goddess Diane bathing with her attendants in the woods. He incurs her wrath when he is transformed into a deer and torn apart by his own hounds. Jeremy Eichler of The Boston Globe praised BEMF's 2008 production for its "vivid performances" and called the Chamber Opera Series a "highly welcome addition to the local concert calendar." Musical Directors Paul O'Dette and Stephen Stubbs return to oversee the recording which reunites most of the original cast and the BEMF chamber ensemble which the Boston Phoenix called "a who's who of stylish early music players". Aaron Sheehan heads up the cast in the title role alongside Teresa Wakim as Diane, Mireille Lebel as Hyalé and Junon, Lydia Brotherton as Daphné, and Amanda Forsythe as Aréthuse as well as nine additional voices to round out the BEMF Vocal Ensemble.

The CD goes on sale from www.bemf.org next week and will be available at the Third Annual BEMF Chamber Opera Series production of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas on November 27 and 28.


Ariadne
Thesee
Psyche
At the 2005 Festival, BEMF released its first commercial opera recording featuring the 2003 operatic centerpiece, Conradi's Ariadne. An instant audience and critical success, this recording marked the beginning of BEMF's outstanding contribution to the current opera discography. Conradi's Ariadne was followed by Lully's Thésée, the 2001 operatic centerpiece, and both recordings received Grammy nominations in the Best Opera category. The third BEMF opera CD, Lully's Psyché from the 2007 Festival and released in July 2008, earned BEMF its third Grammy nomination in the Best Opera category.