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Charles Villiers Stanford is remembered more as a choral composer than one of opera, though he produced nine of them. Here is a chance to hear The Travelling Companion, a world premiere recording, and an interesting opportunity. The story is adapted from Hans Christian Andersen – a Turandot-esque tale of a princess, riddles and suitors – and the music is big on atmosphere and colour. It is tuneful and engaging. New Sussex Opera is a small and ambitious company and sometimes the large scale of the opera pushes orchestra and chorus to the limits in this live recording, but the performance certainly has brio. David Horton is a solid tenor hero; Kate Valentine’s soprano is better at the bigger moments than when reined in as the Princess; and Julien Van Mellaerts is a firm baritone in the title role. Toby Purser’s conducting balances the detail with the occasional bombast.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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