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Performer: David Hansen

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A Clemenza to pardon at Theater an der Wien

Nicole Chevalier (Vitellia) © Werner Kmetitsch
Sam Brown's sparse production leaves nothing to focus on but the individual protagonists on stage. 
***11
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Handel's Alcina in Karlsruhe: a great production with great singing

Lauren Fagan (Alcina) © Felix Grünschloß
Handel's Alcina at the Karlsruhe 2019 Handel Festival scores on all fronts, with two Australians taking the main roles. 
****1
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Quirky staging, superb singing: Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre in Zurich

Jens Larsen (Astradamors) and Leigh Melrose (Nekrotzar) © Herwig Prammer
Ligeti's “anti-anti opera” opens in Zurich in a new production by Tatjana Gürbaca. 
****1
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Hasse's Artaserse receives its Australian première

Vivica Genaux (Mandane) and David Hansen (Arbace) © Brett Boardman
Perhaps Pinchgut Opera's finest production to date, a brave presentation of a classic Baroque opera, little heard in Australia apart from Handel, benefits from the star presence of Vivca Genaux in splendid form.
*****
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Magical musicianship, but drab direction

Mirella Hagen (Morgana) and Rainer Trost (Oronte) © Herwig Prammer
Marlis Petersen's Alcina bloomed for a knockout “Ah! mio cor!” just in time for intermission.
***11
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A metaphor for the modern world in Zurich

Julie Fuchs (Poppea) © Monika Rittershaus
Calixto Bieito sets Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea in a hedonist, decadent society whose citizens are defined by their egotism, ambition and sexual exploits.
****1
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