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André Campra

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André Campra (Aix-en-Provence, December 4, 1660 – June 29, 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 received his musical and religious training at the cathedral of Saint-Sauveur in Aix-en-Provence and became a priest in 1678. 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 Toulon, 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 religious life and devoted most of his time to sacred music. He died at age 83.

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