BOSTON EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL: Niobe, Regina di Tebe Act I

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Handel's Samson with H+H

Handel's Samson with H+H

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New Year's Day 2014 with Boston Baroque

New Year's Day 2014 with Boston Baroque

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Boston Baroque and Music Director Martin Pearlman ring in 2014 with an All-Bach concert at Sanders Theatre in Cambridge, Mass., hosted by WCRB's Cathy Fuller and Brian McCreath.

Handel's Messiah from Boston

Handel's Messiah from Boston

Classical Concerts

Dec. 2, 2012
Symphony Hall

The Handel and Haydn Society159th annual performance Handel's Messiah, with hosts Brian McCreath and Thomas Forrest Kelly

Karina Gauvin, soprano
Daniel Taylor, countertenor
James Gilchrist, tenor
Sumner Thompson, baritone
Chorus and Orchestra of the Handel and Haydn Society, Harry Christophers, conductor

Handel - Messiah

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(photo of the Handel and Haydn Society Chorus courtesy of the Handel and Haydn Society)

Boston Baroque's Messiah, Part 1

Boston Baroque's Messiah, Part 1

Classical Concerts

Martin Pearlman leads Boston Baroque in Handel's Messiah, recorded in concert at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall on Dec. 8, 2012, with soprano Mary Wilson, mezzo-soprano Ann McMahon Quintero, tenor John McVeigh, and baritone Andrew Garland.

Boston Baroque's Messiah, Part 2

Boston Baroque's Messiah, Part 2

Classical Concerts

Martin Pearlman leads Boston Baroque in Handel's Messiah, recorded in concert at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall on Dec. 8, 2012, with soprano Mary Wilson, mezzo-soprano Ann McMahon Quintero, tenor John McVeigh, and baritone Andrew Garland.

Boston Baroque's Messiah, Part 3

Boston Baroque's Messiah, Part 3

Classical Concerts

Martin Pearlman leads Boston Baroque in Handel's Messiah, recorded in concert at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall on Dec. 8, 2012, with soprano Mary Wilson, mezzo-soprano Ann McMahon Quintero, tenor John McVeigh, and baritone Andrew Garland.


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Classical New England is proud to present the world broadcast premiere of what you could call a “screwball tragedy:” Agostino Steffani’s 1688 Opera Niobe: Regina di Tebe (“Niobe, Queen of Thebes”), a work that lay forgotten until its revival in 2008, and subsequent North American premiere at the 2011 Boston Early Music Festival.

The opera opens with Anfione, the King of Thebes (sung brilliantly by the emerging French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky), who wants nothing more than to hang up his scepter and immerse himself in metaphysical contemplation of the harmony of the spheres. But Anfione’s celestial ambitions are dashed by a litany of earthly troubles: a foreign invasion, a kidnapping, adultery by enchantment, a dancing bear, and some very angry gods.

In Steffani's opera, the King of Thebes is at turns an enlightened demi-god, an enraged, jealous husband, and a bellicose warrior-king…and that's just one of a litany of complex characters in this spectacular opera, bringing to life Ovid's timeless tale of love, pride and divided loyalties: We also get Queen-with-attitude Niobe herself (sung by Boston favorite Amanda Forsythe), the lovesick courtier Clearte (Kevin Skelton), who pines for Niobe, the enemy prince of Thessaly (Matthew White), who also has designs on the haughty Queen; Jose Lemos is the wisecracking nurse Nerea, Colin Balzer and Yulia Van Doren as the young lovers Tibernio and Manto; Charles Robert Stephens as Manto’s father, the blind soothsayer Tiresia; and Jesse Blumberg in a crackling role as the evil magician Poliferno. Stephen Stubbs and Paul O’Dette co-direct the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra in a production recorded by WGBH engineers at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston.

WCRB Celebrates the Holidays