There’s always a special sense of relaxed occasion at Bampton: each performance, of just one carefully picked and often rare work, feels like the culmination of months of intense preparation, and yet the whole company glows with the joy of sharing this latest operatic find with the world, creating an atmosphere at once calm, confident and utterly inclusive. This year’s choice, Salieri’s La scuola de’ gelosi, is inspired: a lithe, witty opera about marital (and extra-marital) tensions with an explosively beautiful score, brimming with muscular energy and creative flair from a superb composer. A runaway hit in its day, Bampton’s fresh and skilful production of The School of Jealousy not only makes a great case for reviving another Salieri lost gem (picking up on their exceptional 2015 UK première of La grotta di Trofonio), but also allows us to appreciate its significant influence on Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte – all three bear the traces of this masterfully original earlier piece.
- Want to hear it? Buy a recording here! The same edition is also available from Amazon (and I bought it straight afterwards)