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André Campra

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Biografia

André Campra (Aix-en-Provence, (baptized) 4 December 1660 – 29 June 1744 in Versailles) was a French composer and conductor.

Chronologically situated between Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687) and Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764), Campra participated in the renewal of French opera.

Campra was the son of Jean-François Campra, a surgeon and violinist from Graglia, in Italy, and of Louise Fabry, from Aix-en-Provence. Campra’s father was his first music teacher. Campra became a choirboy at Saint-Sauveur in Aix in 1674, and commenced ecclesiastical studies four years later. He was reprimanded by his superiors in 1681 for having taken part in theatrical performances without permission, but was nevertheless made a chaplain on 27 May that year.

From 1694 to 1700, he was maître de musique (music director) at the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, after having served in a similar capacity in Arles and Toulouse.

He began to turn toward the theatre in 1697. He was then engaged by the prince of Conti as maître de musique, and then in 1730 he became the director of the Opéra. With his composition of L’Europe galante he was the true genius of the opéra-ballet, a musical genre originated by Pascal Colasse (in his Ballet des saisons).

Campra worked at the Académie royale de musique (Royal Academy of Music) and the royal chapel at Versailles after the death of Louis XIV.

From 1720 onwards, he returned to the composition of sacred music. He died at the age of 83.

Operas

-L’Europe galante, opéra-ballet (1697)
-Le carnaval de Venise, opéra-ballet (1699)
-Hésione, tragédie en musique (1700)

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