Gaupner’s Antiochus und Stratonica
BEMF is releasing the first-ever recording of Christoph Graupner’s Antiochus und Stratonica, just in time for the holidays! This heart-wrenching 1708 opera recounts the tale of Syrian prince Antiochus, who falls hopelessly in love with his beautiful new stepmother, Stratonica. The modern premiere of this stunning opera was to be the centerpiece of the 2009 Festival before the 2008 global financial crisis necessitated a change of plans. Our recording was completed in January 2020 in Bremen, Germany, mere weeks before coronavirus dramatically changed our lives and our artistic operations, but with the music making and the travelling completed, the global pandemic could not stop us from sharing this gorgeous music with you.
This world-premiere recording stars BEMF favorite baritone Christian Immler as Antiochus and soprano Hana Blazíková as Stratonica, in her BEMF Opera début. A dazzling cast featuring Sunhae Im, Harry van der Kamp, Sherezade Panthaki, Aaron Sheehan, Jesse Blumberg, and Jan Kobow round out the production. GRAMMY-winners Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs lead the company, including the 32-member BEMF Orchestra under the direction of concertmaster Robert Mealy, and members of Bremen’s own Capella Ansgarii. BEMF Opera Director Gilbert Blin served as Drama Coach for the recording, with BEMF Executive Director Kathleen Fay as Executive Producer.
Photo: Rolf Schoellkopf