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Instrument: Boy soprano

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BudapestPorgy and Bess

Porgy and Bess
Gershwin: Porgy and Bess
István Dénes; András Almási-Toth; Hungarian State Opera; Sebastian Hannak; Krisztina Lisztopád; Marcell Bakonyi; András Palerdi
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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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Baroque sorcery: Handel's Alcina returns to the Staatsoper

Myrtò Papatanasiu (Alcina) and Rachel Frenkel (Ruggiero) © Michael Pöhn | Wiener Staatsoper
Baroque purists might prefer a more surefire line-up of brilliantly executed arias, but the theatrical framework of Adrian Noble's Alcina production offers a great deal.
****1
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Handel’s Jephtha in Retz: thought-provoking

Ewald Donhoffer © privat
Steiner’s reading of the mildly disturbing but generally obsequiously presented story is decidedly edgy, especially considering the opera is staged inside the city church.
****1
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Performers