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André Campra belongs to that period in French musical history between the death of Lully and the full flowering of Rameau when there was supposedly not much going on. In fact, as more and more composers spring to life from the pages of history books we see that there was plenty going on, not least in the creation of opera-ballet in which Campra played a prominent role. One such piece is Le carnival de Venise, which premiered in Paris in 1699. Unlike most opera-ballets it has a continuous plot which unfolds after the customary royal eulogistic prologue. The finest music occurs in Act 3, which contains dances and choruses in Campra’s most beguiling vein, and an affecting lament passionately sung by Salomé Haller. I am less enthusiastic about the voice of Marina De Lisa but the cast is generally good with effective contributions from Andrew Foster-Williams and Sarah Tynan as Euridice in the Italian divertissement of Orpheus and Eurydice which precedes the concluding Carnival Ball.

Nicholas Anderson Read the full review on Agora Classica


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Early Music Today, 2012 - ©Rhinegold Publishing