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Instrument: Boy soprano

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The Dutch premiere of A Village Romeo and Juliet

Sir Mark Elder © Russell Hart
Gorgeous playing under Sir Mark Elder wasn’t enough to mask the lack of theatrical drive in the scrupulously cast Dutch premiere of Delius’ most successful opera.
***11
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Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi in Manchester double bill

Molly Barker (Zita) and Quentin Hayes (Gianni Schicchi) in Gianni Schicchi © Robert Workman
In two equally impressive performances, students from the RNCM star in these two one-act operas.
****1
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Petrenko and a luxury cast grace Il trittico in Munich

Ermonela Jaho (Suor Angelica) © Wilfired Hösl
Petrenko's Puccini is bracingly alert, filled with colour and has a romantic sweep that is utterly transporting.
*****
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Bieito's Tosca: A web of white packing tape

Claudio Sgura (Scarpia) © Erik Berg
Calixto Bieito's Tosca, despite an intriguingly modern setting, fails to make sparks fly.
***11
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Keeping up appearances: Pelléas et Mélisande

Susanna Hurrell (Mélisande) and Edward Nelson (Pelléas) © Erik Berg
After over a century, Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande finally received its Norwegian première in a fascinating production by Barbora Horáková Joly.
****1
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Opera in Jazz: Terence Blanchard's Champion

Arthur Woodley (Emile Griffith) © Scott Suchman for WNO
Washington National Opera continues its cycle of social justice operas.
***11
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The rise and fall of man: Henze meets Weill in Mexico

Henze's Das Wundertheater © Cortesísia Festival Internacional Cervantino
In the finale to Der Dreigroschenoper the sinister incantation of "Denn wovon lebt der Mensch?" ("For what does man live?") ran delightfully close to the bone in these plush surroundings
*****
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