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Performer: Michael Levine

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ZürichSweeney Todd

© Monika Rittershaus
Sondheim: Sweeney Todd
David Charles Abell; Andreas Homoki; Zurich Opera; Michael Levine; Annemarie Woods; Sir Bryn Terfel; Angelika Kirchschlager

MadridPeter GrimesNew production

Peter Grimes
Britten: Peter Grimes
Ivor Bolton; Deborah Warner; Teatro Real; Michael Levine; Allan Clayton; Maria Bengtsson; Christopher Purves

ZürichMadama Butterfly

© T+T / Toni Suter
Puccini: Madama Butterfly
Marco Armiliato; Ted Huffman; Zurich Opera; Michael Levine; Annemarie Woods; Ana María Martínez; Saimir Pirgu
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BarcelonaAVAILABLE IN SPAIN ONLY: Rigoletto

Verdi: Rigoletto
Riccardo Frizza; Monique Wagemakers; Gran Teatre del Liceu; Michael Levine; Sandy Powel; Carlos Álvarez; Desirée Rancatore
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Pulling the heart strings: Madam Butterfly returns to ENO

Natalya Romaniw (Cio-Cio-san) © Jane Hobson
Anthony Minghella's classic production of Madam Butterfly makes a welcome return with a sensational role debut by Natalya Romaniw as Cio-Cio-san.
****1
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Iphigénie en Tauride in Zurich: a bright success in a black grave

Cecilia Bartoli (Iphigénie) © Monika Rittershaus
Cecilia Bartoli leads a great cast in Gluck’s masterpiece, presented in Zurich in a new insightful production by Andreas Homoki.
*****
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A good Madama Butterfly from Hui He at The Met

Hui He (Cio-Cio-San) © Richard Termine | Met Opera
Anthony Minghella's production remains a feast for the eyes, but this performance failed to gel into a dramatic whole. 
***11
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Korngold's Dead City is not so dead in Berlin

Sara Jakubiak (Marietta) and Aleš Briscein (Paul) © Iko Freese | drama.berlin.de
In Robert Carsen's staging, the “dead city” is absent: the scenery showing a bourgeois room that one imagines overlooking a bright avenue in Vienna or Berlin rather than a dark alley in Bruges.
***11
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Billy Budd finally drops anchor again at The Royal Opera

Jacques Imbrailo (Billy Budd) © ROH | Catherine Ashmore
After nearly two decades away from the Covent Garden stage, it was time Britten's Billy Budd came home, in a new production from Madrid by Deborah Warner. 
****1
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Simon McBurney's Magic Flute makes a joyous return to ENO

Thomas Oliemans (Papageno) © Donald Cooper
Simon McBurney's production of The Magic Flute continues to delight and this revival benefits from a strong cast, led by the superb Lucy Crowe as Pamina.
****1
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