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Guide to Classical Music, Opera and Dance in Latvia

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RigaFaust

Gounod: Faust
Tadeusz Wojciechowski; Latvian National Opera; Kristaps Skulte; Kristīne Pasternaka; Latvian National Opera Orchestra

RigaSinfonietta Riga and Inga Kalna. The eternal Mozart

Mozart
Sinfonietta Rīga; Normunds Šnē; Inga Kalna

RigaThe Nutcracker

Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker
Marius Petipa; Lev Ivanov; Aivars Leimanis; Latvian National Ballet; Farhads Stade; Aleksandrs Vasiļjevs

RigaBeethoven's Sonata. The Osokins

Beethoven
Andrejs Osokins; Sergejs Osokins
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Vestard Shimkus delivers exhilarating Dreamscapes

Vestard Shimkus © Ars Produktion
Composer-pianist, Vestards Shimkus gives a compelling rendition of his imaginative 9 etudes Dreamscapes, while his Bach-Busoni 9 Chorale Preludes offers more mixed results. 
****1
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An inspiring, faith-filled concert in Riga

Sigvards Kļava © Riga Festival
The Latvian Radio Choir, coupled with the Sinfonietta Rīga Orchestra under the conductor Sigvards Kļava give an ethereal rendition of four contemporary Latvian composers in Riga Cathedral.
****1
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Exhilarating operatic talent at the Hans Gabor Belvedere Competition

Georgios Alexandros Stavrakakis, Sungho Kim and Pavel Petrov © Dzintari Concert Hall Jūrmala
A wonderful showcase of operatic voices at the 37th International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Latvia. 

A meticulous musical makeover in Riga

Elīna Šimkus (Dido) and Anna Chierichetti (Belinda) © Emanuele Pucciarelli
Almost all the singers, orchestra and conductor were Italian, but it was local soprano Elīna Šimkus and the Latvian Radio Choir who sang Purcell’s magnum opus as if to the English manner born.
***11
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Upcoming events & latest reviews of Latvian performers around the world
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TwickenhamNavarra String Quartet

Navarra String Quartet
Artsybushev, Lyadov, Blumenfeld, Vasks, Schubert
Navarra String Quartet

RigaGrand Concert of Latvian Symphonic Music

Kalniņš, Pētersons, Leimane, Kenins
Latvian National Symphony Orchestra; Andris Poga; Liepāja Symphony Orchestra; Gintars Rinkēvičs

RigaSinfonietta Rīga and Christian Maurer

Adams, Buravickis, Butāns, Reich, Sauter
Sinfonietta Rīga; Guntis Kuzma; Christian Maurer; Aigars Raumanis; The Rīga Saxophone Quartet

RigaPremieres of Lūsēns, Zaļupe and Mence and 12 saxophones

Dubra, Lūsēns, Mence, Zaļupe
Kaspars Putniņš; Jolanta Strikaite; Rihards Zaļupe; Kristīne Adamaite; The Rīga Saxophone Quartet
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Belated Bach: Boston Symphony debuts the Christmas Oratorio

Andris Nelsons and soloists with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Tanglewood Festival Chorus © Winslow Townson
In Germany, the Christmas Oratorio is performed with the same frequency during the holiday season as Messiah in English-speaking countries. In Boston, the BSO gives its first performance!
****1
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Trittico's 100th anniversary and Domingo's 50th

Plácido Domingo (Gianni Schicchi) © Ken Howard | Metropolitan Opera
All three operas in Puccini's triptych are strongly cast in this revival. 
****1
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Ghostly remembrances: Weinberg championed in Birmingham

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla © Benjamin Ealovega
Nearly a century after his birth, Weinberg's final completed symphony is given its UK premiere by the CBSO and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.
****1
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Sturm und drollery: Nelsons' Beethoven in Boston

Andris Nelsons conducts the Boston Symphony in Beethoven © Robert Torres
Drive and energy in Andris Nelsons' pairing of the Fourth and Fifth Symphonies highlights their similarities rather than their differences. 
****1
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