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Performer: John Heuzenroeder

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A very palpable hit: Hamlet in Cologne

Dino Lüthy (Laertes) and David Butt Philip (Hamlet) © Paul Leclaire
Brett Dean's operatic reworking of Shakespeare's Hamlet receives its German premiere in a powerful new staging by the work's librettist Matthew Jocelyn.
****1
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A conceptually bold Manon at Oper Köln

Insik Choi (De Brétigny) and Zuzana Marková (Manon Lescaut) © Bernd Uhlig
This production fell just short of brilliance but showed how relevant and thought-provoking opera as an art form can be when tapping into today's headline debates.
****1
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Not easily assimilated: Candide in Cologne

Alexander Franzen (Pangloss) © Paul Leclaire | Oper Köln
The Staatenhaus venue forces one too many compromises on Bernstein's operetta, but the performance itself is saved by the accomplishment of much of the singing.
***11
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Hours of fun: Ravel's two one-act operas in Cologne

Cologne Opera's staging of Ravel's two comedies needed a stronger directorial response to the performance space, but the musical rewards compensated.
***11
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Alles Leben ist Leiden: Tristan und Isolde an der Oper Köln

Peter Seiffert (Tristan) und Ingela Brimberg (Isolde) © Bernd Uhlig
Die Neuinszenierung Wagners Musikdrama steht in Patrick Kinmonths Inszenierung ganz im Zeichen der Philosophie Schopenhauers.
****1
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Piff, Paff, Puff in Köln: Offenbachs Die Großherzogin von Gerolstein

Miljenko Turk (Baron Puck), Jennifer Larmore (La Grande-Duchesse), Vincent Le Texier (General Boum) © Bernd Uhlig
Der Versuch des Spagats aus Komik und Kritik überzeugt in einem bildlich, dialogisch und musikalisch bunten Geburtstagsfest.
****1
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