CHARPENTIER'S Actéon (2010)
"Exquisite." –The Guardian
The Boston Early Music Festival has released its fourth Baroque opera CD on the German label CPO. 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. 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".