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Performer: Andreas Grüter

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An emotionally distant Peter Grimes at Oper Köln

Ivana Rusko (Ellen Orford) and Marco Jentzsch (Peter Grimes) © Bernd Uhlig
Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes is a nuanced, gripping tale that should pack an emotional punch. Despite fine moments, Oper Köln's production didn't serve the work. 
**111
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An effectively unsettling The Emperor of Atlantis at Oper Köln

Lucas Singer (Death), Nikolay Borchev (Emperor Overall) © Paul Leclaire
Though straightforward in concept, Oper Köln's production of the one-act opera written in the Theresienstadt concentration camp brought the opera's profound themes to the surface in an excellently sung performance.
***11
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Laufenberg’s Elektra a disappointment in Vienna

Elena Pankratova (Elektra) © Wiener Staatsoper | Michael Pöhn
German theatre director Uwe Eric Laufenberg freely incorporates some of Stanley Kubrik’s horror story concepts into his Elektra, but in ignoring both Sophocles and Strauss, is a long way from shining.  
***11
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Hours of fun: Ravel's two one-act operas in Cologne

Cologne Opera's staging of Ravel's two comedies needed a stronger directorial response to the performance space, but the musical rewards compensated.
***11
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Alles Leben ist Leiden: Tristan und Isolde an der Oper Köln

Peter Seiffert (Tristan) und Ingela Brimberg (Isolde) © Bernd Uhlig
Die Neuinszenierung Wagners Musikdrama steht in Patrick Kinmonths Inszenierung ganz im Zeichen der Philosophie Schopenhauers.
****1
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