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Performer: Gwyn Hughes Jones

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LondonTosca

Puccini: Tosca
Daniel Oren; Jonathan Kent; The Royal Opera; Paul Brown; Mark Henderson; Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden

ParisTristan et Isolde

Wagner: Tristan und Isolde
Gustavo Dudamel; Peter Sellars; Opéra national de Paris; Martin Pakledinaz; James F. Ingalls; Orchestre de l'Opéra national de Paris; Chœurs de l'Opéra national de Paris
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A brilliant barrack room ballad: Otello at Grange Park Opera

Gwyn Hughes Jones, Elizabeth Llewellyn and Sir Simon Keenlyside star in David Alden's setting of Otello in a militarised Cyprus.
****1
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Natalya Romaniw an exciting Tosca in Scottish Opera’s powerful revival

Anthony Besch’s trusty Tosca returns to Scottish Opera with Natalya Romaniw packing a punch in the title role. 

*****
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Ballo II, the American cut: an indigestible staging at WNO

Musically, WNO gets it right. Straightforward brilliance is the order of the day, and plenty of it.
***11
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An Aida that strips away the Egyptian iconography

Michael Barker-Caven sets Aida in a 21st-century war zone in the Middle-East, allowing the audience to focus on the human drama.
*****
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Wheel of Fortune: Preziosilla spins Pountney's Force of Destiny

When the entire plot is triggered by a freak accident, you can't blame director David Pountney for making Fate itself one of the key characters.  
****1
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Billowing silk, blue hair: an evocative ENO Aida

McDermott envisages Aida as a sister production to his team's mesmeric Akhnaten. But would the hypnotic juggling and glacial choreography work for Giuseppe Verdi's Nile epic?
****1
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