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Boston Early Music Festival to tour Europe with a concert performance of Steffani’s Niobe, Regina di Tebe, January 18–31, 2015

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Cambridge, MA – The Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra and its Grammy-nominated Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs embark on a seven-city European tour, January 18–31, 2015 with concert performances of Steffani’s Niobe, Regina di Tebe in Madrid, Mérignac, Versailles, Paris, Amsterdam, Toulouse, and Dortmund. Originally presented as the 2011 Festival Operatic Centerpiece, Niobe will also be the subject of BEMF’s forthcoming seventh Baroque Opera CD due to be released in early 2015 by Erato/Warner Classics. The acclaimed countertenor Philippe Jaroussky reprises his role as King Anfione in the original June 2011 production, alongside soprano Karina Guavin in the title role of Niobe both on the tour and on the recording.

BEMF’s original production of Niobe at the June 2011 Festival was a rousing success with audiences and critics alike. Led by Musical Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs and Stage Director Gilbert Blin, Niobe was heralded as a “smorgasbord of mythology and mayhem” by The New York Times and which The Boston Globe praised as “a thoughtful and meticulous period production”. Philippe Jaroussky—in his North American stage début—was singled out for particular acclaim, with The Boston Phoenix declaring he “won the audience with his beautiful singing, strong, clear tone, breathtaking technical bravura, and emotional nuance.” BEMF first performed Niobe in concert to a sold-out audience at Bremen’s Musicadia Festival in November 2013.

The concert performances of Niobe will be led by Musical Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs and will feature over 40 singers and instrumentalists, including BEMF’s own all-star Orchestra with Concertmaster Robert Mealy. Alongside Mr. Jaroussky and Ms. Gauvin in an internationally-acclaimed cast are: Teresa Wakim as Manto; Christian Immler as Tiresia; Aaron Sheehan as Clearte; Maarten Engeltjes as Creonte; Jesse Blumberg as Poliferno; Colin Balzer as Tiberino; and José Lemos as Nerea.

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. Steffani’s Niobe, Regina di Tebe will be the seventh release in this series in early 2015 and an eighth, Handel’s Acis and Galatea, is also planned for release later in 2015

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Steffani’s Niobe Regina di Tebe

Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 6pm | Madrid - Auditorio Nacional
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 8:30pm | Mérignac (near Bordeaux) - Le Pin Galant
Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 8pm | Versailles - Opéra Royal
Saturday, January 24, 2015 at 7:30pm | Paris - Théâtre des Champs Elysée
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 7:30pm | Amsterdam - Concertgebouw
Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 8pm | Toulouse - La Halle aux Grains
Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 7pm | Dortmund – Konzerthaus Dortmund

Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra
Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, Musical Directors
Robert Mealy, Concertmaster

Karina Gauvin, Niobe
Philippe Jaroussky, Anfione
Aaron Sheehan, Clearte
Teresa Wakim, Manto
Colin Balzer, Tiberino
Christian Immler, Tiresia
Maarten Engeltjes, Creonte
Jesse Blumberg, Poliferno
José Lemos, Nerea

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 three Grammy-nominated 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 18th Boston Early Music Festival will take place from June 7–14, 2015, and will be highlighted by Claudio Monteverdi’s trilogy of operas: Orfeo, Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria, and L'Incoronazione di Poppea. BEMF’s Artistic Leadership includes Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, Opera Director Gilbert Blin, and Orchestra Director Robert Mealy.

The 2014–2015 Boston Early Music Festival Concert Series is presented with support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, National Endowment for the Arts, ConstellationCenter, WGBH Radio Boston, Harpsichord Clearing House, Zuckermann Harpsichords International, and The Gregory E. Bulger Foundation.

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