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Instrument: Spoken word

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BergenBluebeard's Castle

Haydn, Bartók
Edward Gardner; Michelle DeYoung; John Relyea; Paul Mácsai; Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

BergenBluebeard's Castle

Bluebeard's Castle
Haydn, Bartók
Edward Gardner; Michelle DeYoung; John Relyea; Paul Mácsai; Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

ManchesterA Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol
Brand: A Christmas Carol
Chester Philharmonic Orchestra; Stephen Threlfall; Timothy West; Manchester Chamber Choir

LeipzigDer Freischütz

© Ida Zenna
Weber: Der Freischütz
Felix Bender; Christian von Götz; Oper Leipzig; Dieter Richter; Jessica Karge; Gal James; Magdalena Hinterdobler

BudapestDie Fledermaus

© Tomas Opitz
Strauss II: Die Fledermaus
János Kovács; Miklós Szinetár; Hungarian State Opera; Attila Csikós; Nelly Vágó; István Kovácsházi; Klára Kolonits

New York CityKarine Polwart & Kaia Kater

© Sandy Butler/Todd Cooper
Karine Polwart; Kaia Kater

MunichDie Entführung aus dem Serail

Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Mozart: Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Harem)
Constantin Trinks; Martin Duncan; Bavarian State Opera; Ultz; Albina Shagimuratova; Caroline Wettergreen
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Fingerlos and El Mouissi perform Schumann’s Dichterliebe at Lucerne

Sascha El Mouissi and Rafael Fingerlos © Lucerne Festival | Peter Fischli
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

Esa-Pekka Salonen and Camilla Tilling © Camilla Greenwell | Philharmonia Orchestra
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

Burkhard Fritz (Waldemar) © DNO 2018
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

Jyrki Korhonen (Osmin) and Tuomas Katajala (Belmonte) © Soila Puurtinen, Itä-savo
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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Opera inside out: Ariadne auf Naxos

Karine Babajanyan (Ariadne) © Florian Merdes
A well-sung revival of a witty and supremely theatrical production of Strauss’ operatic exposé.
****1
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Magnificent music and opulent visuals

Michael Rotschopf (Arthur), Ferdinand Kraemer (Young Arthur) and Max Urlacher (Oswald) © Ruth Walz
Under the baton of René Jacobs, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin dazzles in the Staatsoper's production of Purcell's "dramatick opera". 
****1
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Washington National Opera's sparkling Daughter of the Regiment

Lisette Oropesa (Marie), Kevin Burdette (Sulpice) and Lawrence Brownlee (Tonio) © Scott Suchman
Robert Longbottom's take on Donizetti's Daughter of the Regiment captures the spirit of bel canto in Washington DC. 
****1
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