2011 Niobe, Regina di Tebe

BEMF Opera | 2011 Centerpiece Opera

Steffani’s Niobe, Regina di Tebe

Sunday, June 12, 2011 at 3:30pm
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 7pm
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 7pm
Friday, June 17, 2011 at 7pm
Sunday, June 19, 2011 at 3:30pm
Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College, Boston, MA

Friday, June 24, 2011 at 7pm
Saturday, June 25, 2011 at 7pm
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, MA

Join the Boston Early Music Festival in June for the North American premiere of Agostino Steffani’s Niobe, Regina di Tebe (Niobe, Queen of Thebes)—an operatic masterpiece first performed as the opening spectacle at the 1688 Carnival in Munich. Steffani was a force in shaping the operatic culture of Germany, and had an enormous influence on the music of Handel. Steffani’s gorgeous music will immerse the listener in a magical drama of soaring triumphs and searing tragedy.

Niobe recounts the story of the Queen of Thebes, one of the most tragic figures in Greek mythology, who ruled over the city of Thebes with her husband Anfione. Niobe’s immense pride earns her family the merciless wrath of the gods. With elegant costumes, breathtaking sets, and Baroque flying machines, this heart-wrenching story will come alive in a dazzling spectacle for both eye and ear.

This stunning production will feature a BEMF audience favorite, soprano Amanda Forsythe, in the title role, and the sensational French countertenor, Philippe Jaroussky, who received Europe’s prestigious 2008 Echo Award for Best Singer of the Year, as King Anfione. They head a cast of leading international opera singers, who perform alongside the thirty virtuosos who comprise our three-time Grammy nominated BEMF Orchestra, a colorful ensemble of Baroque dancers, a gifted children’s troupe, and many others.

Critical Acclaim

“This is the Baroque opera production I’ve been waiting for.”

—The Boston Phoenix

“Evocatively staged.”

—The New York Times

Production Video


Paul O’Dette & Stephen Stubbs, Musical Directors
Gilbert Blin, Stage Director
Caroline Copeland & Carlos Fittante, Choreographers
Anna Watkins, Costume Designer
Gilbert Blin, Set Designer
Lenore Doxsee, Lighting Designer
Kathleen Fay, Executive Producer
Abbie H. Katz, Associate Producer
Ellen Hargis, Assistant Stage Director

 Flying effects provided by ZFX, Inc.



Amanda Forsythe, Niobe
Philippe Jaroussky, Anfione
Yulia Van Doren, Manto
Charles Robert Stephens, Tiresia
Kevin D. Skelton, Clearte
Matthew White, Creonte
Jesse Blumberg, Poliferno
Colin Balzer, Tiberino
Jose Lemos, Nerea

Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra

Cynthia Roberts, concertmaster
Robert Mealy, Miloš Valent, Peter Spissky, Dagmar Valentová, Julie Andrijeski, Cynthia Miller Freivogel, Daniel Elyar & Johanna Novom, violin; Pat Jordan, Laura Jeppesen & David Douglass, viola; Phoebe Carrai, David Morris, Sarah Freiberg & Brent Wissick, basse de violon; Robert Nairn, double bass; Gonzalo X. Ruiz & Kathryn Montoya, oboe & recorder; Mathieu Lussier, bassoon; John Thiessen, Alexander Bonus, Brian Shaw & Kris Kwapis, trumpet; Ben Harms, percussion; Paul O’Dette & Stephen Stubbs, theorbo & Baroque guitar; Maxine Eilander, Baroque harp; Luca Guglielmi, harpsichord; Erin Headley, viola da gamba

Off-stage Viol Consort: Christel Thielmann, director; Caitlin Cribbs, Rachael Ryan & Beiliang Zhu

BEMF Dance Ensemble

Melinda Sullivan, Ballet Mistress
Caroline Copeland, Carlos Fittante & Karin Modigh, featured dancers; Olsi Gjeci, Andrew Trego & Scott Weber, dancers

BEMF Young Artists Training Program

Hernan Berisso, Julia Cavallaro, Abigail Renée Krawson, Sean Lair, Alexander Nishibun, Brendan Quinn, Jay Lloyd Smith & Megan Stapleton

PALS Children's Chorus

Alysoun Kegel, Artistic Director
Jill Carrier, Executive Director
Carolina Bragg, Samuel Greene, Kevin Liao, Jerilyn McLean, Emy Metzger, Frederick Metzger, Max Morganstern, Felicia Rosen, Julia Shneyderman, Elias Sink, Erik Traub & Javier Werner