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Performer: Heike Scheele

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MunichUn ballo in maschera

© Wilfried Hösl
Verdi: Un ballo in maschera
Paolo Carignani; Johannes Erath; Bavarian State Opera; Heike Scheele; Gesine Völlm; Joseph Calleja; Vladislav Sulimsky
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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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Fledermaus debuts at La Scala but misses some sparkle

Act 3, Die Fledermaus © Brescia/Amisano | Teatro alla Scala
The Temple of Opera has opened its doors to operetta. For the first time the Teatro alla Scala is staging Johann Strauss' Die Fledermaus.
***11
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Local colour: Mathis der Maler in the Ruhr

Urban Malmberg (Mathis) © Karl & Monika Forster
Musiktheater im Revier Gelsenkirchen's new production of Hindemith's meditation on art and politics, Mathis der Maler, draws upon the Ruhr's modern art legacy.
***11
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Mixed success for Leipzig's futuristic Turandot

Balázs Kovalik's new dystopian Turandot is musically rousing but let down by a production that's more 1970s TV series than slick modern sci-fi. 
***11
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Send in the clowns: Stefan Herheim’s Lulu in Copenhagen

Zombie clowns abound in Stefan Herheim's uncomfortably comical and upsetting Copenhagen production of Alban Berg's Lulu.
*****
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