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Performer: Samuel Boden

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RotterdamSt Matthew Passion

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Bach: St Matthew Passion, BWV244
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra; John Butt; Carolyn Sampson; Catriona Morison; Samuel Boden; Andrew Tortise

MadridLessons in Love and Violence

Lessons in Love and Violence
Benjamin: Lessons in Love and Violence
Josep Pons; Katie Mitchell; Teatro Real; Vicki Mortimer; Stéphane Degout; Georgia Jarman

BarcelonaLessons in Love and Violence

Benjamin: Lessons in Love and Violence
Josep Pons; Katie Mitchell; Gran Teatre del Liceu; Vicki Mortimer; James Farncombe; Stéphane Degout; Georgia Jarman
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An Orfeo of infinite beauty by Nederlandse Reisopera

Samuel Boden (Orfeo) © Marco Borggreve
The brainchild of opera director Monique Wagemakers, choreographer Nanine Linning and visual artist Lonneke Gordijn, this Orfeo by Nederlandse Reisopera is a thing of infinite beauty.
*****
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A flash of Bachian colour to see out the EIF’s Queen’s Hall season

John Butt and the Dunedin Consort © David Barbour
John Butt’s musicians show that Bach’s secular cantatas have just as much to offer as the sacred.
****1
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Handel's Alcina in Karlsruhe: a great production with great singing

Lauren Fagan (Alcina) © Felix Grünschloß
Handel's Alcina at the Karlsruhe 2019 Handel Festival scores on all fronts, with two Australians taking the main roles. 
****1
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A disappointing Mass in B minor from the BBCSO

Mary Bevan © BBC | Mark Allan
Even Baroque specialist John Butt could not persuade the BBC Symphony Chorus to sing in tune
***11
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Lessons in Love and Violence: ice and drama

Barbara Hannigan (Isabel), Stéphane Degout (King), Gyula Orendt (Gaveston) © ROH | Stephen Cummiskey
George Benjamin and Martin Crimp's second full scale opera is a refinement of the craft showed in Written on Skin – but the lessons are less in love and violince than in power, tension and beauty of the score.
****1
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Monteverdi on a doughnut: Ulysses fails to thrill

The Return of Ulysses © ROH & Roundhouse | Stephen Cummiskey
A series of ill-advised staging choices leads to a disappointingly drab performance of Monteverdi's Homeric epic.
**111
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