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Performer: Anna Malavasi

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Quiet tragedy: Robert Wilson's Otello in Baden-Baden

Sonya Yoncheva (Desdemona) and Stuart Skelton (Otello) © Lucie Jansch
Zubin Mehta conducts Verdi's Otello in an iconic Robert Wilson production of stylized theater where less is more. The effect was mesmerizing.  
****1
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A fantastic folle journée at Teatro di San Carlo

Bruno de Simone (Beaupertuis), Zuzana Marková	 (Elena) and Pietro Adaini (Fadinard) © Francesco Squeglia
A fresh, gleaming production of director Elena Barbalich, with as much vaudeville as possible
*****
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Opera as circus: a controversial Cav & Pag in Rome

Carmela Remigio (Nedda) and Fabio Sartori (Canio) © Yasuko Kageyama | Teatro dell’Opera di Roma
Pippo Delbono, an advocate of experimental theatre, tests the audience's patience at Opera di Roma, masking some enjoyable musical performances.
**111
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Tragedy comes full circle in San Carlo's Rigoletto

George Petean (Rigoletto) and Rosa Feola (Gilda) © Teatro di San Carlo | Luciano Romano
In this staging of Verdi’s  masterpiece, the director reminds us that the ominous epilogue springs from its short prelude.
****1
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Otello, or The dark side of the Moor unveiled in Naples

A great singing cast and an excellent conducting for the unveiling of Otello's ghosts in Naples.
****1
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Small moments make the whole in Muti's Macbeth with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

According to Riccardo Muti in a recent interview for Chicago Classical Review, the cardinal sins of modern conductors when interpreting Verdi are over-aggression and vulgarity. He also notes in an interview included in the concert program that one of the most unique aspects of Macbeth is its use of expressively soft dynamics, even going as far to call the technique avant-garde.
****1
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