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Angelo Campori, Italian Opera Favorite, Dies at 79

By Classicalite Newsdesk on Nov 25, 2013 06:23 PM EST

For the soundtrack to Woody Allen's Hannah and her Sisters, the indie film auteur, who knows his opera, plumped for an authentically Italian excerpt from Puccini's Manon Lescaut. The cast was from the Ragio Theater of Turin, the conductor was Angelo Campori.

And the complete performance from which that was taken is indicative of the conductor Campori became--a noted exponent of musical Italy. It featured in its cast good voices that were idiomatically Italianate, with Maria Chiara and Nicola Martinucci in the leads. It is careers like that of conductor and composer Campora, who has died aged 79, that have for centuries comprised and formed the Italian classical music scene.

His closest associations were with the Teatro Regio in Parma and with the Verona Arena. But he had an American profile, as well. He had been close to Leonard Bernstein and had performed at the Metropolitan Opera, in Philadelphia and elsewhere. He had been seriously ill a decade ago and had required heart surgery, since when he'd been almost completely unable to perform.

He left several recordings. As well as that Manon Lescaut, there's a film of Lucia Di Lammermoor from Parma starring Alfredo Kraus and Luciana Serra, Soliva's rarely-heard Guilia E Sesto Pompeo on the CPO label and Licinio Refice's Cecilia with Renata Scotto on VAI Audio.

Fabio Luisi tweeted about Campori's death. "Maestro Compori," he wrote, "was one of the last Italian conductors who knew exactly what Italian opera means and how to conduct it."

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TagsAngelo Campori, Renata Scotto, Verona Arena, Teatro Regio, Parma, Fabio Luisi, Manon Lescaut, Puccini, Italian opera

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