Cambridge, MA – The Boston Early Music Festival recording of Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Les Plaisirs de Versailles and Les Arts Florissants on the German label cpo (Classic Produktion Osnabrück) has been nominated for a 2020 GRAMMY Award in the category of Best Opera Recording. This marks the sixth GRAMMY nomination for BEMF’s series of Baroque Opera recordings, including a win in this category at the 2015 GRAMMY Awards for Charpentier’s La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers. The nomination is shared by BEMF Artistic Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs and Producer Renate Wolter-Seevers, who collaborated on all six of BEMF’s nominated recordings, as well as lead soloists Jesse Blumberg, Teresa Wakim, and Virginia Warnken. Blumberg and Wakim have appeared on numerous BEMF recordings, including our 2015 GRAMMY winner. Warnken made her BEMF recording début on this release and is a previous GRAMMY Award winner as a member of the ensemble Roomful of Teeth.
The Boston Early Music Festival is one of two Boston ensembles to be nominated in the Best Opera Recording category for the 2020 GRAMMY Awards, being joined by fellow perennial nominee, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and their recording of Fantastic Mr. Fox by Tobias Picker. The 62nd GRAMMY Awards will be announced on January 26, 2020.
Charpentier’s Les Plaisirs de Versailles and Les Arts Florissants
The Boston Early Music Festival has enjoyed a celebrated history with French operas of the 17th-Century, and especially the music of Marc-Antoine Charpentier. This release marks BEMF’s third recording exploring the Baroque master’s operatic repertoire, following the 2011 release of his Actéon and the 2014 release of La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers and La Couronne de Fleurs. The latter won the GRAMMY Award for Best Opera Recording. Both Les Plaisirs de Versailles and Les Arts Florissants depict allegorical scenes united in praise of King Louis XIV and his grand palace at Versailles. The recording was made over thirteen days in January of 2019 in Bremen, Germany at the acoustically superb Sendesaal (former site of Radio Bremen). In addition to nominated Musical Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, the disc features Robert Mealy as Concertmaster for the BEMF Chamber Ensemble, Gilbert Blin as Drama Coach, and Kathleen Fay as Executive Producer.
ABOUT THE BEMF RECORDING PROJECT
With the goal of capturing the exceptional work of the Baroque Opera Project, BEMF initiated an effort to record its acclaimed Baroque Operas in 2005. This commitment to preservation has produced nine celebrated opera recordings and attracted the attention of the international community in the form of numerous awards and accolades, including a GRAMMY Award for Best Opera Recording for our 2014 CD release of Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers and La Couronne de Fleurs and five more GRAMMY nominations. BEMF recordings have also been nominated for—and won—ECHO Klassik awards, Gramophone awards, the Diapason d’Or de l’Année, and Gramophone Magazine’s Recording of the Month. The Recording Project was expanded to include nonoperatic Baroque vocal works, with recordings of the chamber duets of Agostino Steffani (2017) and Johann Sebastiani’s Matthäus Passion (2018). BEMF’s next CD—Handel’s first opera, Almira—will be released on the cpo label in late 2019.