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Galuppi’s collaborations with Goldoni in 1750s Venice set out the template for comic opera. L’Inimico delle Donne is similar fare, though the librettist is Giovanni Bertati and its 1771 premiere places it nearer the end of the composer’s illustrious career. This 2011 Liège production is the first since Galuppi’s lifetime, and while it’s an amiable piece, it’s no great discovery. The storyline finds Italian maiden Agnesina, who hates men, shipwrecked in China, where she encounters Prince Zon-Zon, who hates women: you can guess the rest, although a drunken banquet and tomfoolery with a talking statue provide mildly amusing diversions before the inevitable lovers’ duet. The music is, in Alessandrini’s words, ‘light and agreeable’, though its generic galant smoothness also makes it quickly forgettable. Soprano Anna Maria Panzarella tops a fine cast, the staging is colourful and Alessandrini conducts with zest; but why lavish all this talent on such a silly piece of frippery with so few good tunes?

Graham Lock Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Early Music Today, 2012 - ©Rhinegold Publishing