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Performer: Joseph Kaiser

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Kitschy, bombastic, virtuosic: the LA Phil and Dudamel’s Mahler 8

Gustavo Dudamel © Vern Evans
Mahler's Eighth was the composer’s “gift to the nation”; Dudamel’s performance was a gift to Los Angeles. 
*****
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A pale Rheingold begins Teatro Real's revival of Carsen’s Ring

Greer Grimsley (Wotan) and Sophie Bevan (Freia) © Javier del Real | Teatro Real
Carsen's scaled-down Ring makes a timely comeback with a melancholy message of decay.
***11
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Robert Carsen's Eugene Onegin ages gracefully at COC

Joyce El-Khoury (Tatyana) © Michael Cooper
Robert Carsen's Eugene Onegin was binned by the Met but works wonderfully in its revival by the Canadian Opera Company COC with high class singing and acting from a young, engaging cast.
****1
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Minimalistic new production of Idomeneo in Zurich

Joseph Kaiser (Idomeneo) and Anna Stéphany (Idamante) © Monika Rittershaus
In Jetske Mijnssen’s new production of Idomeneo, all order of human entanglements, sorrows and pain run rampant.
***11
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Adès' riveting The Exterminating Angel

Amanda Echalaz (Lucia de Nobile), Christian Van Horn (Julio) and Iestyn Davies (Francisco de Ávila) © Ken Howard | Metropolitan Opera
Adès opera resists explanation, and the ambiguity of the story drives much of its compelling nature. 
****1
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Rex tremendae majestatis: Stravinsky at the Baltic Sea Festival

Joseph Kaiser (Oedipus) © Arne Hyckenberg
Peter Sellars's much-travelled staging of Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex provided a powerful opening for the 15th Baltic Sea Festival under the festival's artistic director Esa-Pekka Salonen.
****1
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