The GRAMMY-winning Boston Early Music Festival returns with an all-new recording of Handel’s first opera, Almira. Written when the composer was only nineteen, Almira tells a story of intrigue and romance at the Court of Castile. The opera features a trio of love triangles as the newly crowned queen Almira and two princesses navigate the ever-shifting affections of a brave soldier, a loyal aide, and a mysterious foreign ambassador. These lovelorn characters must overcome misunderstandings, jealousies, duels, and dungeons on their way to a joyously happy ending.
A remarkable success when it was originally presented in Hamburg, the opera shows the early genius of Handel that would soon make him a star in Italy and London. GRAMMY-winning Musical Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs are bursting with enthusiasm for this groundbreaking new recording, the first one period instruments in nearly a quarter of a century: “Every moment of Almira is a musical gem in its own right, but they are masterfully woven together to create a sweeping sense of drama from beginning to end.”
O’Dette and Stubbs lead an exceptional cast featuring Emőke Baráth in the title role, Amanda Forsythe as the princess Edilia, Colin Balzer as Fernando, Christian Immler as Consalvo, Zachary Wilder as Osman, Jesse Blumberg as Raymondo, Teresa Wakim as Bellante, and Jan Kobow as Tabarco. They are joined by Concertmaster Robert Mealy and the 32-member BEMF Orchestra as well as Drama Coach Giilbert Blin and Executive Producer Kathleen Fay.