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Performer: Michael Honeyman

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From cabaret to cathedral: McVicar's spectacular Faust in Sydney

Teddy Tahu Rhodes (Méphistophélès) © Prudence Upton
The revival of David McVicar's production of Gounod's Faust provides spectacle and entertainment in spades, with strong performances from Ivan Magrì (Faust) and Teddy Tahu Rhodes (Méphistophélès).
****1
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A new, darker Butterfly at Opera Australia

Karah Son (Cio-Cio-San) © Prudence Upton
Graeme Murphy's new Madama Butterfly opens with arrestingly kinky imagery and heavily exploits digital projections thereafter, but the joy of the production is in the uniform excellence of the performers, headed by the outstanding Karah Son in the title role.
****1
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Barbed wire fences and gas masks: Wozzeck in Sydney

Michael Honeyman (Wozzeck) © Keith Saunders
Kentridge’s use of video technology creates another, highly complex, visual score next to Berg’s sonic one.
****1
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Master masons: Holten’s Meistersinger comes to Melbourne

Michael Kupfer-Radecky (Hans Sachs) © Jeff Busby
Having offered a strong feminist reading of Wagner's Ring, could Kasper Holten do the same again for Die Meistersinger? Opera Australia's co-production had moments of excellence, but ultimately left the viewer with more questions than answers
***11
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Opera Australia’s Tosca highlights the tyranny of evil Scarpia

Marco Vratogna (Scarpia) © Jeff Busby
Remarkable singers and magnificent sets successfully transpose Puccini’s Tosca to Nazi-occupied Rome, bringing home the horror of tyranny and how possible it is to occur.
****1
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