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Performer: Iestyn Davies

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The Academy of Ancient Music reconnects us to a more genuine Messiah

Iestyn Davies and the AAM © Mark Allan | Barbican
Richard Egarr was able to put together a performance that – full of energy and dynamism – succeeded in bringing forward with great transparency, restraint and delicacy this score’s wonderful musical tapestry. 
****1
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Excellent cast crowns The Royal Opera's Ariodante in concert

Chen Reiss © ROH | Tristram Kenton
It’s the title character rather who gets the best tunes in Ariodante and Irish mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy ate them up. 
*****
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Political power games in Kosky's Agrippina at Covent Garden

Joyce DiDonato (Agrippina) © ROH | Bill Cooper
An over-directed, but vivid staging demonstrating political rise and fall in Ancient Rome transported to the present day.
***11
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The power of music: Iestyn Davies in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice

Iestyn Davies © Andrei Gîndac
Centuries can envelop a musical masterpiece in a cocoon of misconceptions and false interpretations as much they leave their mark in the form of dirt and grime on a painting’s surface.
*****
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A vibrant, urgent Ariodante at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Brenda Rae (Ginevra) and Kyle Ketelsen (King of Scotland) © Cory Weaver
A revival of Richard Jones’ production of Handel’s emotionally probing opera. 
*****
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Britten Sinfonia's electric Messiah: Look, no hands!

Sophie Bevan © Sussie Ahlburg
A conductorless performance of Handel's masterpiece lights up the Barbican.
****1
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