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Performer: Benjamin Bruns

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SingaporeBeethoven's Ode to Joy

© Marco Borggreve
Beethoven: Symphony no. 9 in D minor "Choral", Op.125
Singapore Symphony Orchestra; Masaaki Suzuki; Rachel Nicholls; Marianne Beate Kielland; Benjamin Bruns; Christian Immler

MunichAriadne auf Naxos

© Wilfried Hösl
Strauss R.: Ariadne auf Naxos
Erik Nielsen; Robert Carsen; Bavarian State Opera; Peter Pabst; Falk Bauer; Camilla Nylund; Jane Archibald

MunichDas Rheingold

© Wilfried Hösl
Wagner: Das Rheingold
Valery Gergiev; Andreas Kriegenburg; Bavarian State Opera; Harald Thor; Andrea Schraad; John Lundgren; Milan Siljanov

MunichDie Meistersinger von Nürnberg

© Wilfried Hösl
Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Kirill Petrenko; David Bösch; Bavarian State Opera; Patrick Bannwart; Meentje Nielsen; Julia Kleiter; Benjamin Bruns
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Kirill Petrenko's new energy proves irresistible at the Philharmonie

Kirill Petrenko conducts the Berliner Philharmoniker © Stephan Rabold
Sultry Berg and and a lithe, forceful Beethoven Nine herald an exciting new reign in Berlin.
*****
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Girl power rules: Vienna State Opera with Die Frau ohne Schatten

Evelyn Herlitzius (Nurse), Camilla Nylund (Empress), Nina Stemme (Dyer's wife) © Wiener Staatsoper | Michael Pohn
The outstanding trio of Nylund, Stemme and Herlitzius soars above a Vienna State Opera Orchestra in thunderous form, led by Christian Thielemann to celebrate the Staatsoper's 150th birthday in style.
****1
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Folk rhythms and changing times in Dresden's Bartered Bride

Hrachuhí Bassénz (Marie) and Pavol Breslik (Hans) © Semperoper Dresden/Ludwig Olah
What brought real distinction and authenticity to the evening, as so often in this house, was the outstanding playing of the Staatskapelle conducted by Tomaš Netopil. From the start of the overture with its rapidly scurrying fugato for strings and pointed phrasing from the woodwind one felt the true sense of Smetana’s Czech inflected rhythms and harmonies
***11
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“Ridiculous and detestable?" Not on Suzuki’s guard

Masaaki Suzuki © Marco Borggreve
C minor and C major are at the centre of Masaaki Suzuki's Haydn and Beethoven programme with the Sydney Symphony. 
****1
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Putting frippery before Freud

Anna Gabler (Arabella) © Wiener Staatsoper | Michael Pöhn
The current stage-setting of Arabella at the Wiener Staatsoper proves that “all that’s Glittenberg” is not gold.
***11
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