ZampaMany 19th century overtures became far more popular than the works they introduced—for example, when’s the last time you saw a Franz Suppé operetta? “Trove Thursday” has resurrected one such rarity: Hérold’s Zampaou La fiancée de marbre performed by Les Arts Florissants, conducted by William Christie with Richard Troxell in the title role and Patricia Petibon as Camille (!). 

Hérold was, perhaps, more hard-working than talented, year after year cranking out works without much success. Although Zampa is his best known operatic title, he did achieve long-term fame with his ballet La Fille mal gardée which continues to be performed today—it was just danced by American Ballet Theater at its season at the Met earlier this year.

Zampa has a near-incomprehensible plot of pirates and a magical statue but it still briefly captured the public’s imagination and chalked up over 500 performances in less than 50 years.

Over the years Les Arts Florissants has rarely ventured into performing 19th century works which might account for why this Zampa was never recorded nor videotaped. But this 2008 revival at the Opéra-Comique was a popular success and revived the following season.

Hérold: Zampa
14 March 2008

Camille: Patricia Petibon
Ritta: Doris Lamprecht
Zampa: Richard Troxell
Alphonse de Monza: Bernard Richter
Daniel: Léonard Pezzino
Dandolo: Vincent Ordonneau

Les Arts Florissants
Conductor: William Christie

“Trove Thursday” offerings can be downloaded via the audio-player available above. Just click on the icon of a square with an arrow pointing downward and the resulting mp3 file will appear in your download directory.

In addition, Zampa and all previous fare remain available from iTunes or via any RSS reader.