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From the same year as Feuersnot and even more obscure is Saint-Saëns’ Les Barbares, a piece of Gallic deliciousness few will know, about the developing relationship between a chief vestal and the leader of the invading Barbarians, the latter murdered by a vengeful widow. The opera is effective, the choral writing striking, and the Act II duet a stunner. Laurent Campellone marshals his forces effectively, tenor Edgaras Montvidas is a fluent Marcomir (Barbarian), Julia Gertseva a vivid Livie (who wields the dagger) and best of all is Catherine Hunold, whose soprano displays unstinting power coupled with pure, pearlescent tone. This is a great opportunity to investigate beyond Samson et Dalila. With a limited edition of 3,000 and lavish presentation, don’t hesitate.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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