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Instrument: Librettist

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Prokofiev: Cinderella
Christopher Wheeldon; Jacquelin Barrett; Dutch National Ballet; Martin West; Julian Crouch
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Obsession, isolation and terror at the Royal College of Music

Richard Pinkstone (Sandy), James Atkinson (Blazes) and Timothy Edlin (Arthur), different cast © Chris Christodoulou
Two contemporary operas give us darkness and death in riveting, inexorable performances. 
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To the field of blood: The Judas Passion

Brenden Gunnell and Roderick Williams © Belinda Lawley
Suffering, forgiveness, and natural brass in a brand new dramatic oratorio
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Glossing over The Balkans: The Life and Death of Marina Abramović

Ivan Talijančić reviews Robert Wilson's production of The Life and Death of Marina Abramović at New York's Park Avenue Armory
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Samuel Adamson's Gabriel: London in the 1690s with Alison Balsom and The English Concert

Richard Riddell; Amanda Wilkin; Jessie Buckley; Matthew Raymond  ©  John Haynes
Shakespeare’s Globe is currently hosting playwright Samuel Adamson’s Gabriel, described as “an entertainment with trumpet”. Alison Balsom, the internationally recognised trumpeter and creative producer of this show, presented musical extracts from Henry Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, King Arthur and Dioclesian, along with many other odes and songs by Purcell and other Baroque composers.
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The Magic Flute gets metatheatrical with the Merry Opera Company

Elisabeth Marshall (Lady), James Harrison (Papageno), Caterina Sereno (Lady), Fleur de Bray (Queen o ©  Polly Hancock
Mozart’s original The Magic Flute is bizarre enough. The story of a prince and a bird-catcher’s journey to save a princess they’ve never met from a sinister quasi-Freemason who turns out to be alright, it is sufficiently packed full of great songs and good humour to have become an enduring repertory favourite – but that doesn’t mean it makes any sense. It doesn’t, really.
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This is all: Britten's The Rape of Lucretia at the Norwegian National Opera

Norwegian National Opera, The Rape of Lucretia  ©  Erik Berg
Britten’s opera The Rape of Lucretia is, as the title implies, not an easy opera subject-wise. It is based on André Obey’s play Le viol de Lucrèce, which in turn is partially based on Shakespeare’s poem The Rape of Lucrece. This was Britten’s third opera, and the first of his so-called chamber operas, operas with small orchestras and small casts.
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Monteverdi's L'Orfeo at Hampstead Garden Opera

Belén Barnaus as Euridice and René Bloice-Sanders as Orfeo © Laurent Campagnon
There’s something pretty special about going to see one of the very first operas ever written. It’s particularly special if you love the rhythms of renaissance dance music, the harmonies of polyphonic choral music and if, as I am, you are an admirer of Claudio Monteverdi’s vocal writing: it’s quite plausible to argue that he remains unmatched in his ability to spin a beautiful vocal thread
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