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Performer: Hagen Matzeit

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All the world's a stage: Xerxes as a comedy of backstage rivalry

Valer Barna-Sabadus (Xerxes) and Torben Jürgens (Ariodates) © Hans Jörg Michel
A revival of Stefan Herheim's production of Handel's Xerxes in Düsseldorf makes for a rip-roaring evening of theatrical comedy.
****1
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Baroque bawdiness at Komische Oper Berlin

Stephanie Houtzeel (Xerses), Nina Bernsteiner (Romila) and Nora Friedrichs (Atalanta) © Jaro Suffner
With many costume changes, notably into a Sun-King with very prominent phalic sunburst, Houtzeel held centre-stage in the title role.
****1
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The party’s over: Monteverdi’s Ritorno d’Ulisse

Director Ole Anders Tandberg's production of Monteverdi's Il ritorno d'Ulisse expertly balances the line between irreverent humour and human tragedy.
****1
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Barocke Muppet-Show in Graz

Lady Gaga + Captain Jack Sparrow = Xerxes. Nach dieser Formel inszenierte Stefan Herheim Händels Oper als barocken Bilderrausch, der mit großartigen musikalischen Leistungen zum vollen Erfolg wurde.
****1
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