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Performer: Levente Molnár

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A worthy rarity: Erkel’s Bánk bán has its belated American première

Levente Molnár (Bánk bán) and István Rácz (Tiborc) © Attila Nagy
The music, a combination of Italian-sounding melodies, German instrumentation and Hugarian dotted rhythms, was remarkably captivating.
****1
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Un ballo glitters but doesn’t ignite in Budapest

Eszter Sümegi (Amelia), Attila Fekete (Gustavo) and Alexandru Agache (Renato) © Valter Berecz
The acting was patchy and the singing ranged from serviceable to laudable in this dazzling new production at the Budapest Spring Festival.
***11
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Boom or bust: the Hungarian State Opera's new Bánk Bán

The big heart and generous melodies of Ferenc Erkel's fine opera shine through in difficult circumstances in Atilla Vidnyánszky semi-abstract new staging at the Erkel Theatre.
****1
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A delightful confection in Zurich

L'elisir d'amore © Judith Schlosser (2015)
The charm of Gaetano Donizetti’s spirited two-act L’elisir d’amore lies in its mixture of sharp comedy and poignant pathos. Zurich gave us just that.
****1
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Oldie but goodie: La bohème at the Hungarian State Opera

© Juhász Arrila
A warhorse on its own, Kálmán Nádasdy's 79-year-old production works surprisingly well, providing a nice evening's entertainment with a dedicated cast.
***11
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Kent's Manon Lescaut at Covent Garden

Aleksandrs Antonenko (Chevalier des Grieux) and Sondra Radvanovsky (Manon Lescaut) © ROH | Bill Cooper
Kent's staging brings out the sleaze in Puccini's first big hit; Sondra Radvanovsky thrills in the title role; the musical performance improves through the evening.
***11
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