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Performer: Gun-Brit Barkmin

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Tristan und Isolde: a fabulous musical night for Perth

Stuart Skelton © Guðmundur Ingólfsson
Wagner is a rare bird in Perth; the second *Tristan und Isolde* in 12 years worth the wait, no less for being a concert performance, and for bringing Skelton's masterful interpretation to an Australian audience
****1
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Cardillac at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

Cardillac © Michele Borzoni | TerraProject/Contrasto
The in-house orchestra played out of its skin under Fabio Luisi.
****1
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Jaap van Zweden blazes trail for the HK Phil

Jaap van Zweden conducts Götterdämmerung © Ramond Ho
The final instalment of the Hong Kong Philharmonic's Ring cycle merits the orchestra joining the international big league. 
****1
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Laufenberg’s Elektra a disappointment in Vienna

Elena Pankratova (Elektra) © Wiener Staatsoper | Michael Pöhn
German theatre director Uwe Eric Laufenberg freely incorporates some of Stanley Kubrik’s horror story concepts into his Elektra, but in ignoring both Sophocles and Strauss, is a long way from shining.  
***11
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Big on decibels, short on detail

Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke (Herod) and Gun-Brit Barkmin (Salome) © Wiener Staatsoper GmbH | Michael Pöhn
Gun-Brit Barkmin’s Salome was neither sexy, salacious, psycho-erotic nor particularly well sung.
***11
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