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Performer: Robert Pomakov

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TorontoGryphon Trio with Robert Pomakov

Gryphon Trio with Robert Pomakov
Beethoven, Mussorgsky, Dvořák
Gryphon Trio; Robert Pomakov

OsloEugene Onegin

Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin
Lothar Koenigs; Christof Loy; Norwegian National Opera; Raimund Orfeo Voigt; Herbert Murauer; Audun Iversen; Svetlana Aksenova
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Crisper, tighter, more relevant: Alden's Rigoletto at the COC

Roland Wood (Rigoletto) © Michael Cooper
Christopher Alden’s production of Verdi’s Rigoletto returned to Toronto tighter, more focussed and with fewer dramatic incongruities. Add to this that every aspect of the music making was top notch and it made for a fine evening at the theatre.
****1
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SF Opera opens new season with Andrea Chénier

Yonghoon Lee (Andrea Chénier) and Anna Pirozzi (Maddalena) © Cory Weaver | San Francisco Opera
Andrea Chénier returns to San Francisco Opera after a long absence, in Sir David McVicar's realistic production. 
*****
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Cold Mountain: Higdon's maiden operatic voyage

There was a nod to John Adams in the score, but also a kind of edgy Americana, complete with powerful writing for male chorus, and an attempt to communicate the flavor of rural North Carolina, not far from where Higdon grew up.
****1
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Santa Fe Rigoletto offers a gimmick-free Mantua

Quinn Kelsey's Rigoletto is commanding, emotional and complex. His bass-baritone has all the qualities you could ask for – darkness and light.
****1
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An Otherworldly Rusalka with L'Opera de Montréal

Rusalka is a strange love story—one that ends with a man dying in the embrace of a woman (as opposed to the classic opposite). The story’s end finds no closure, but instead acts as the birth of a fearsome Czech folktale about a water nymph who is doomed to ensnare young men. And finally, the opera contains but one ‘love aria’ which appears in the final scene, and ends in tragic death.
****1
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