Campra: L'Europe Galante

Thursday 16 November 2017 - 8pm
Approximate duration: 
3h with intermission

André Campra was the most important lyric composer between Lully and Rameau. And yet born in Aix-en-Provence in 1660, he started working mostly as a church musician, travelling from cathedral to cathedral in the French provinces, before taking the coveted position at Notre-Dame de Paris in 1694. However once there, he decided to devote himself to opera and the success of his Europe Galante in 1697 was initially anonymous, until the revelation of his authorship obliged him to resign from Notre-Dame…This work is a cornerstone of the opera-ballet style, with a deft mixture of dance and opera in rich divertimenti that were incompatible with his position of Maître de Chapelle at Notre-Dame!

Wishing to highlight the two dominant musical styles of his time, the Italian and the French, Campra takes the audience on a voyage through nations of Europe in love, with Venus and Discord fighting for supremacy over Europe during the prolog…


During the first entrée, France beats in the heart of shepherds and shepherdesses, it is then followed by the entrées of Spain, Italy and masked Venetian balls; to end with Turkey and a seraglio peopled with sultanas and intrigues. A gallant musical voyage, a court divertimento to evoke the exoticism of faraway lands, Europe Galante ideally illustrates the exhibition “Visitors to Versailles. 1682-1789”. The caricature is well thought-out: the Frenchman is fickle and indiscreet, the Spaniard faithful and romantic, the Italian refined but jealous and violent and finally the Sultan must temper the Sultana’s criminal resentment, as she has been replaced in his heart by a beautiful slave…This Turkish act would meet with enduring success until the Revolution!

Sébastien d’Hérin gathers soloists who are as piquant as the lovers they interpret, to revive this masterpiece of divertimento from the reign of Louis XIV, recorded for the Alpha/Versailles collection.


André Campra, L'Europe Galante, HMT Leipzig

This programme will be recorded for the Alpha/Versailles collection.



ANDRE CAMPRA (1660-1744)
L'Europe Galante

Opera-ballet with five entrées on a libretto by Antoine Houdar de la Motte
Created on 24 October 1697 at the Théâtre du Palais Royal in Paris


Picto abonnement

Musical Gems subscription



Picto 15 minutes avec


On Thursday 16 November at 7.30pm, share “15 minutes with” the conductor Sébastien d'Hérin, about L'Europe Galante in the Grand Foyer of the Royal Opera.

-Please show your ticket for the evening performance, subject to availability-




Caroline Mutel Soprano

Isabelle Druet Mezzo-soprano

Anders J. Dahlin Ténor

Nicolas Courjal Baryton


Les Nouveaux Caractères

Sébastien d’Hérin Conductor