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Instrument: Spoken word

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BudapestCarmen

Bizet: Carmen
Balázs Kocsár; Calixto Bieito; Hungarian State Opera; Flores Tarres Ildefonso; Mercè Paloma; Andrea Szántó; Szabolcs Brickner

BudapestDie Fledermaus

Strauss II: Die Fledermaus
Miklós Szinetár; Hungarian State Opera; Attila Csikós; Nelly Vágó; István Kovácsházi; Eszter Sümegi
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Perth Festival’s Russian Soul: The Story of Rachmaninov in Song

Russian soprano Ilona Domnich, pianist Sholto Kynoch and enthusiast Michael White in a programme of songs and speech reflecting Rachmaninov’s colourful life.

****1
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Pure melody and riotous entertainment: ENO's Paul Bunyan

The American Dream hits Ally Pally in a vivacious performance of Britten's eclectic operetta, headlined by an ENO chorus who knock it out of the park.
****1
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A miraculous Ariadne auf Naxos in Dresden

Christian Thielemann led a memorable performance of Strauss's chamber opera Ariadne auf Naxos with a strong cast in a new straightforward production by David Hermann.
*****
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Fingerlos and El Mouissi perform Schumann’s Dichterliebe at Lucerne

The gifted baritone Rafael Fingerlos lit up Lucerne’s Lukaskirche with Dichterliebe, the song cycle of 16 poems by Heinrich Heine.
***11
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A thrilling Gurrelieder from the Philharmonia

This was a superbly assured performance in which Esa-Pekka Salonen marshalled his forces with a clear-sighted vision to carve out an account brimming with intensity, energy and commitment.
****1
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Spectacular Gurrelieder revived at Dutch National Opera

An exemplary cast, an opulent orchestra and unforgettable images in Arnold Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder.
****1
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Savonlinna's Die Entführung aus dem Serail

The opening production of the 2017 Savonlinna Opera Festival had an optimistic message, strongly delivered by a cast led by the exceptional Konstanze of Hulkar Sabirova.
****1
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