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Not Quite Opera

Recent interviews and features
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Die schöne Helena at the Komische Oper Berlin
Vilja aria from Lehár's The Merry Widow from ENO
Offenbach's Fantasio at Opéra Comique
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ViennaDie Fledermaus

Strauss II: Die Fledermaus
Alfred Eschwé; Heinz Zednik; Volksoper Wien; Pantelis Dessyllas; Doris Engl; Carsten Süss; Ursula Pfitzner

ParisLe Voyage dans la lune

Offenbach: Le Voyage dans la lune
Alexandra Cravero; Laurent Pelly; Opéra Comique; Barbara de Limburg; Alice Touvet; Joël Adam

VallettaBel Canto di Napoli

Vivaldi, Porpora, Handel, Hasse, Pergolesi
Simone Kermes; Amici Veneziani

BelfastSwingtime!

Swingtime!
Armstrong, Ellington, Sinatra
Ulster Orchestra; Stephen Bell; Anna-Jane Casey; Matt Ford

LisbonMettis Quartet

Mettis Quartet
Beethoven
Mettis Quartet

New York CityDudamel conducts Mahler and Schubert

Mahler, Schubert
New York Philharmonic Orchestra; Gustavo Dudamel; Michelle DeYoung; Simon O'Neill

CincinnatiSchubert's The Great

Ravel, Chin, Schubert
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; Simone Young; Alban Gerhardt

MunichResidenz Serenade

Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Schubert
Munich Residenz Solisten
Latest reviewsSee more...

A shining Silver Lake from English Touring Opera

Ronald Samm (Olim) © Richard Hubert Smith
Weill's satirical fairytale bites just as hard today as it did in 1933.
****1
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Yuval Sharon’s pop Zauberflöte at the Staatsoper Berlin

Florian Teichtmeister (Papageno) © Monika Rittershaus (February 2019)

The Staatsoper Unter den Linden presents Avery Sharon’s shocking production of Mozart’s masterpiece, full of references to pop culture, side by side with the traditional one by Everding in the same season. A solid cast does justice to his fun, entertaining, bold production.

****1
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Berlin im Licht: Philharmonia sheds light on the cabaret scene

Dagmar Manzel © Belinda Lawley

Despite engaging vocal performances and vivid orchestral playing, the Philharmonia Orchestra’s exploration of Weimar-era Berlin’s cabaret world added up to less than the sum of its parts.

***11
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Northern Ireland Opera’s Fledermaus flies high and low

Stephan Loges (Dr Falke) © Bradley Quinn
Stripping away all the decadence of late-19th century Vienna, Walter Sutcliffe gives Johann Strauss’ operetta an overhaul. 
***11
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Au fait with Orphée: Salzburg celebrates Offenbach's bicentenary

Martin Winkler (Jupiter) and Kathryn Lewek (Eurydice) © Salzburg Festival | Monika Rittershaus
The Salzburg Festival's production of Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld is another classic in the making from Barrie Kosky.
*****
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Candide channels Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in Philadelphia

Erin Morley, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Amanda Lynn Bottoms © The Philadelphia Orchestra
Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Kevin Newbury see Candide as a coming-of-age story, placing it in their own high-school years, specifically 1992, making Westphalia a USA knockoff.
****1
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Clown court: Offenbach's Fantasio at Garsington

Hanna Hipp (Fantasio) © Clive Barda

The UK stage debut of Offenbach’s neglected Fantasio reveals a musical sizzler, but directorially it needs a more sympathetic touch than Garsington musters.

***11
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Vienna goes to Broadway for ENO's Merry Widow

Sarah Tynan (Hanna) © Clive Barda
ENO's Merry Widow is big, brash, and more than a touch juvenile – but it's the most fun one can have at the opera.
****1
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