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Performer: Eric Cutler

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BrusselsBeethoven Symphony no. 9 - Daniel Barenboim

Beethoven: Symphony no. 9 in D minor "Choral", Op.125
West-Eastern Divan Orchestra; Daniel Barenboim; Julia Kleiter; Waltraud Meier; Eric Cutler; René Pape

BerlinBeethoven's Ninth

Beethoven: Symphony no. 9 in D minor "Choral", Op.125
Staatskapelle Berlin; Daniel Barenboim; Staatsopernchor Berlin; Martin Wright; Julia Kleiter; Marina Prudenskaya

BerlinDie Frau ohne Schatten

Strauss R.: Die Frau ohne Schatten
Simone Young; Claus Guth; Staatsoper Berlin; Christian Schmidt; Olaf Winter; Eric Cutler
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Aix-en-ProvenceAriadne auf Naxos

Rupert Charlesworth (Dancing Master), Sabine Devieilhe (Zerbinetta) and troupe © Pascal Victor / Artcompress
Strauss R.: Ariadne auf Naxos
Marc Albrecht; Katie Mitchell; Festival d'Aix-en-Provence; Chloe Lamford; Sarah Blenkinsop; Lise Davidsen; Sabine Devieilhe
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Blissful soprano singing: Ariadne in Aix

Rupert Charlesworth (Dancing Master), Sabine Devieilhe (Zerbinetta) and troupe © Pascal Victor / Artcompress
Lise Davidsen and Sabine Devieilhe produce soprano heaven in their contrasting vocal styles. Katie Mitchell’s staging feels disappointingly familiar.
***11
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The Agony and the Ecstasy: Bruckner, Bernard Haitink and the LSO

Bernard Haitink © Todd Rosenberg
Bernard Haitink and LSO forces explore contrasting aspects of two late works by Bruckner.
****1
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Carmen: An atmosphere filled with dust and testosterone

Calixto Bieito  updates the Carmen to the final years of Franco’s dictatorship and in Joan Anton Rechi’s revival, the results are often gritty and fierce, if unlikely to do anything for the Spanish tourist trade.
***11
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The (Surrealist) Tales of Hoffmann

With this mesmerising version of Les contes d'Hoffmann, Marthaler has proved (as Offenbach did more than one century ago) that it is possible to love Romanticism through its satire. 
****1
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The Met: Der Rosenkavalier

Nathaniel Merrill’s production of Der Rosenkavalier opened at the Metropolitan Opera on 23 January 1969. Richard Nixon had been sworn in as President as the United States only a few days earlier. It is still in the repertory today, here revived with Edward Gardner conducting.
***11
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The Met in HD: Hymel is the hero in Berlioz's epic Les Troyens

It’s very difficult to write about Berlioz’s Les Troyens without mentioning its length. Tonight’s cinema screening of Fransesca Zambello’s lush production was billed at 341 minutes – that’s 5.6 hours. But beamed live from the Metropolitan Opera in New York, those 5.6 hours entailed spectacular operatic entertainment.
***11
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