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Performer: Tim Mead

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AmsterdamAkademie für Alte Musik Berlin & RIAS Kammerchor: Handel's Messiah

© Ronald Knapp
Handel: Messiah
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin; Justin Doyle; RIAS Chamber Chorus; Julia Doyle; Tim Mead; Thomas Hobbs

ParisRaphaël Pichon & St Matthew Passion

Bach: St Matthew Passion, BWV244
Raphaël Pichon; Ensemble Pygmalion; Maîtrise de Radio France; Julian Prégardien; Stéphane Degout
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Great Britten: Death in Venice returns to Covent Garden

Gerald Finley (Gondolier) and Mark Padmore (Aschenbach) © ROH | Catherine Ashmore
Benjamin Britten's final opera hasn't been staged by The Royal Opera in over 25 years, but his setting of Thomas Mann's Death in Venice receives a great new production by Sir David McVicar. 
*****
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Forsythe a truly overwhelming Semele at Festival O

Amanda Forsythe (Semele) and Alek Shrader (Jupiter) © Steven Pisano
James Darrah stages Handel's sensual oratorio for Festival O, a feast of wonderful singing. 
****1
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Prom 55: uneven soloists in Handel's Jephtha

Allan Clayton and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra © BBC | Chris Christodoulou
Poor diction and lack of heft from some principals mar the composer's last great oratorio. 
***11
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Jolly hockey sticks! Orliński rules as Rinaldo at Glyndebourne

Jakub Józef Orliński (Rinaldo) © Robbie Jack
Robert Carsen's riotous production of Rinaldo returns to the Sussex Downs, a schoolboy fantasy colliding crusading knights with St Trinian's bad girls. 
****1
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Handel's somewhat rare oratorio Susanna in the Halle Handel Festival

Handel's Susanna at the Halle Handel Festival © Stiftung Händel-Haus
Handel's oratorio Susanna is often considered to be less than consistently dramatic and this performance in the Halle Handel Festival did little to dispel that view.
***11
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