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Performer: Stephanie Houtzeel

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ViennaHänsel und Gretel

Humperdinck: Hänsel und Gretel
Cornelius Meister; Adrian Noble; Vienna State Opera; Anthony Ward; Jean Kalman; Virginie Verrez

ViennaDie Fledermaus

Strauss II: Die Fledermaus
Cornelius Meister; Otto Schenk; Vienna State Opera; Günther Schneider-Siemssen; Milena Canonero; Jörg Schneider; Laura Aikin

ViennaDie Fledermaus

Strauss II: Die Fledermaus
Cornelius Meister; Otto Schenk; Vienna State Opera; Günther Schneider-Siemssen; Milena Canonero; Georg Nigl; Camilla Nylund
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All the world's a stage: Xerxes as a comedy of backstage rivalry

Valer Barna-Sabadus (Xerxes) and Torben Jürgens (Ariodates) © Hans Jörg Michel
A revival of Stefan Herheim's production of Handel's Xerxes in Düsseldorf makes for a rip-roaring evening of theatrical comedy.
****1
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Baroque bawdiness at Komische Oper Berlin

Stephanie Houtzeel (Xerses), Nina Bernsteiner (Romila) and Nora Friedrichs (Atalanta) © Jaro Suffner
With many costume changes, notably into a Sun-King with very prominent phalic sunburst, Houtzeel held centre-stage in the title role.
****1
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Jaap van Zweden blazes trail for the HK Phil

Jaap van Zweden conducts Götterdämmerung © Ramond Ho
The final instalment of the Hong Kong Philharmonic's Ring cycle merits the orchestra joining the international big league. 
****1
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Bechtolf's Ring returns to the Wiener Staatsoper

Norbert Ernst (Loge), Egils Silins (Wotan) and Markus Eiche (Donner) © Wiener Staatsoper | Michael Pöhn
A festive air was palpable – the house was technically sold out – as the first of a set of three Ring cycles launched at the Wiener Staatsoper. 
***11
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Reimann’s murderous Medea at the Staatsoper

Monica Bohinec (Gora) and Claudia Barainsky (Medea) © Wiener Staatsoper | Michael Pöhn
In 2010, the première of Reimann's Medea was welcomed with enthusiasm, leading the Staatsoper to relaunch it this season for a second run.
****1
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Cross-dressing abounds: Gluck's Armide

Excellent playing from Les Musiciens du Louvre and a mixed vocal performance are matched by a staging by Ivan Alexandre likely to be controversial.
**111
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