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Performer: Tommi Hakala

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Albrecht’s Mahler 8 is a fierce struggle for redemption

Marc Albrecht © Marco Borggreve
Leading five choirs, fine soloists and a glowing Netherlands Philharmonic, conductor Marc Albrecht emphasised the human struggle in a highly dramatic performance of Mahler’s mammoth eighth symphony.
*****
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Turin's Salome devoid of lunar magic

Erika Sunnegårdh (Salome) © Rammella & Giannese/Piva | Teatro Regio Torino
With so little of worth happening onstage, this performance requires a unanimously strong set of performances from the main cast.
**111
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Falstaff in Turin: elegant, but with little mass

Carlos Álvarez (Falstaff) © Ramella & Giannese | Teatro Regio Torino
Renzetti's traditional rendition does not reveal yet unprecedented details of a score that is the summation of Verdi's mastery and his last work – his third based on Shakespeare.
***11
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“Amid the black water": a sensational new work from Aulis Sallinen at the Savonlinna Festival

Olavinlinna Castle © Soila Puurtinen, Itä-Savo
The Castle in the Water, Sallinen's new “chronicle”, is a new work of innovative beauty. Tragic, comic and epic, in seventy-five minutes it tells the history of Olavinlinna and gives a snap-shot of those connected to it.
*****
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Festive Tchaikovsky from the Philharmonia

Veronika Dzhioeva © A Bolkvadze
An all-Tchaikovsky programme of opera and ballet was an appealing way to enter the Christmas period, especially under the energetic baton of Jac van Steen.
****1
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