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Performer: Svetlana Aksenova

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LiègeMadama ButterflyNew production

Madama Butterfly
Puccini: Madama Butterfly
Speranza Scappucci; Stefano Mazzonis di Pralafera; Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège; Ayrton Desimpelaere; Jean-Guy Lecat; Fernand Ruiz; Svetlana Aksenova
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Listen with Mother: Tsar Saltan as autism parable at La Monnaie

Svetlana Aksenova (Militrisa) and Bogdan Volkov (Gvidon) © Forster
Dmitri Tcherniakov's staging turns Rimsky-Korsakov's opera into storytelling for an autistic boy, but does he deliver a fairy tale ending? 
*****
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Glorious ensembles in Dutch National Opera’s new Tannhäuser

Daniel Kirch (Tannhäuser) and Ekaterina Gubanova (Venus) © Monika Rittershaus
Orchestra and chorus reach great Wagnerian heights in this new production by Christof Loy, a study of an artist in revolt against hypocritical sexual mores.
***11
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Simplicity the key to new Butterfly in Zurich

Svetlana Aksenova (Cio-Cio-San) © Toni Suter | T+T Fotografie
Apparently, the composer himself was a notorious cheater, we can assume that some of the unsavoury themes of his 1904 opera “Madame Butterfly” were close to the bone.
****1
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Bieito's Tosca: A web of white packing tape

Claudio Sgura (Scarpia) © Erik Berg
Calixto Bieito's Tosca, despite an intriguingly modern setting, fails to make sparks fly.
***11
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Caged bird: Tchaikovsky stars in Herheim's Pique Dame

Vladimir Stoyanov (Yeletsky) and Chorus © Monika Forster | Dutch National Opera
The role of the outsider struck a chord with Tchaikovsky, whose homosexuality alienated him from society. Stefan Herheim takes that identification as the central idea in his remarkable new production at Dutch National Opera.
*****
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