In Jephtéby Michel Pignolet deMontéclair, GyörgyVashegyi directs – with styleand energy – another riveting account of a neglected French Baroque opera. The work, based on the Biblical tale of a conquering general obliged, by a sacred vow, to sacrifice his own kin, becamean immediatesuccessin1732,indeedafixtureinoperalifein France,receiving over a hundred performances at the Opéra alone in the three decades following its première. Montéclair and his librettist Pellegrin were open to preparing revised versions of the opera and it is the third and conclusive edition which has been worked on by the Centre de MusiqueBaroquedeVersaillesandrecordedbyVashegyiandhismusicians. The central and demanding role of Iphise here is taken by Chantal Santon Jeffery, who is joined by Tassis Christoyannis as the unfortunate but successful-in-war title character, Judith van Wanroij as the bewildered but resolute mother and Thomas Dolié as the relayer ofdivinemessages,Phinée. There is an imaginative and individual flair to Montéclair’s music, nurtured by his extensive orchestralpitexperienceat theParisOpéra–and Jephtéisa work ofhis maturity.Aswellas the tautness of the third edition, the fruits of all this experience are to be heard here with the Orfeo Orchestra showing its paces in zesty airs, minuets, marches and a chaconne, but also with a musette- tinged pastoral celebration – this last also allows the Purcell Choir opportunities to excel; elsewhere, the choir is called on variously to represent warriors, Israelites,andcompanionsofIphise.