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Performer: Gábor Bretz

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UtrechtDuke Bluebeard's Castle

Bartók: Duke Bluebeard's Castle
Karina Canellakis; Rinat Shaham; Gábor Bretz; Radio Filharmonisch Orkest
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No salvation: Budapest Don Carlo paints a dark picture of humanity

Gaston Rivero (Don Carlo) and Zsuzsanna Ádám (Elisabetta di Valois) © Valter Berecz | Hungarian State Opera
The Hungarian State Opera presents a new modern production of Don Carlo by a director who depicts the historical cruelty as very much present in our world today.
****1
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Verdi's fresco in sound brought vividly to life

Edward Gardner © Benjamin Ealovega
London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir paint a terrifying picture of hell and damnation at the Royal Festival Hall.
****1
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An immersive auto-da-fé: Konwitschny's Don Carlos sizzles

Don Carlos at Staatsoper Hamburg © Brinkhoff/Mögenburg (2008)
From stylised 16th-century dress to a 1970s sitcom ballet, Konwitschny's Staatsoper staging is full of brilliantly inventive touches, splendidly realised in this excellently sung revival. 
*****
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Inevitable solitude in the Ricci/Forte's new diptych

Gábor Bretz © Rosellina Garbo
Performing arts duo Ricci/Forte throw what feels like the entire directorial arsenal at this production.
****1
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A powerful performance of Verdi's Requiem from Pappano

Sir Antonio Pappano © ROH | David Bebber
Perhaps feeling that the drama and emotion of the Ring Cycle wasn't enough for one year, Antonio Pappano assembled a strong quartet and deployed the ROH's forces in a powerful, moving performance of Verdi's Messa da Requiem.
****1
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On the rocks: An ice-cold Salome in Salzburg

Asmik Grigorian (Salome) © Ruth Walz
An astonishing performance by Asmik Grigorian is central to the Italian director's disturbing reading of a disturbing opera. 
****1
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