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Performer: Erwin Schrott

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CagliariLa bohème

Puccini: La bohème
Steven Mercurio; Lorenzo Mariani; Teatro Lirico di Cagliari; Pier Luigi Samaritani; Andrea Bocelli; Daniela Dessì
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Highway to Hell: Don Giovanni returns to Covent Garden

Kasper Holten's psychological take on the louche lothario remains controversial, but in its third revival, Erwin Schrott's powerful assumption of the title role is a delight.
***11
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Faust finds salvation thanks to jump-in soprano

A devilishly fun performance of Gounod's take on Goethe, saved when Mandy Fredrich flew in at short notice to take over the role of Marguerite. 
****1
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A superb, sinister Hoffmann at Dutch National Opera

Selectively unearthed from current critical editions, this fabulously performed new Hoffmann plumbs the murky depths of its antihero’s psyche.
*****
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Herheim’s lavish Vêpres siciliennes returns

A mural depicting Etna erupting is the only hint of Sicily in Stefan Herheim’s opulent staging, returning to Covent Garden for the first time since the Royal Opera’s Verdi bicentenary celebrations in 2013. 
****1
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Clémentine Margaine's Carmen seduces in Naples

The staging highlighted Carmen’s rebellious traits more than her sensual exoticism.
***11
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Mozart's genius shines clearly in San Francisco Opera's darkly comic production of Don Giovanni

Dangling and turning like shards of a giant overhead chandelier in Don Giovanni’s banquet hall, this is an evocative multimedia production that tantalizes the senses while shining new light on Mozart's genius. 
****1
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