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Vogel’s first opera is quite a rarity. He is better known, if at all, for his second and last opera, Démophon. The composer, rather a lush, apparently teamed up with another drunk, Philippe Desriaux, who provided the libretti for both works. The booze did the trick, for although La Toison d’or (The Golden Fleece) was never a hit, I found it an interesting listen. The music, post-Gluckian, is vivid and exciting and the orchestral effects strong, Vogel throws in some graceful arias and ensembles, vivid recitatives and original instrumentation and it makes for an exciting mix. Hervé Niquet conducts Le Concert Spirituel with some dash and the cast is excellent. Two singers dominate: Marie Kalinine as Médée, her mezzo evenly produced but still capable of unleashing the passion the role demands, but not at the expense of the vocal line; and Judith Van Wanroij as Hipsiphile, with a pure, sweet and fresh soprano – a lovely assumption, and her voice blends well with Kalinine’s. An interesting operatic byway.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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