Agostino Steffani - Niobe, Regina di Tebe
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Cat No: 2564634354
Number of Discs: 3
Release Date: 12th January 2015
Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra
Agostino Steffani’s sumptuous 1688 opera Niobe, Regina di Tebe has proved a revelation to audiences since its first modern production in 2008. The spellbinding French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, who appeared in its US premiere at the Boston Early Music Festival in 2011, stars in this new recording, with Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin in the title role of the proud, but tragic Theban queen.
- Niobe: Karina Gauvin
- Anfione: Philippe Jaroussky
- Manto: Amanda Forsythe
- Tiresia: Christian Immler
- Clearte: Aaron Sheehan
- Creonte: Terry Wey
- Poliferno: Jesse Blumberg
- Tiberino: Colin Balzer
- Nerea: José Lemos
When Niobe, first seen in 1688, was staged at London’s Royal Opera House in 2010, The Independent enticingly summarised the work and its appeal: “Lust, ambition and grief are expressed extravagantly yet succinctly ... The arias are brilliant and abundant, propelled by athletic ground basses, interrupted by prowling kettle-drums, or sinuously laced with viola da gamba ... Composer, diplomat and theologian, Steffani knew how to tickle the interest of his audience, spiking Niobe's maternal hubris with adultery, magic spells, political intrigue, romantic sub-plots and the stock sardonic nurse who is there to comment on human folly. The opera was premiered in Munich's carnival season, and it shows. So do the diverse musical influences in Steffani's life: the stile antico training of his boyhood, an early baptism in Venetian opera, and a pivotal journey to Lully's Paris.”
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