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Contents

'I feel that I'm basically calm inside, which helps in this sort of career'.

Saimir Pirgu

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FRONT OF HOUSE 5 EDITORIAL The prospects for opera as a new season is launched

6 FEEDBACK 8-13 NEWS & NOTES Baritone quits Bayreuth over swastika tattoo I ROH 2012/13 cinema season announced I Rosenblatt Recital Series moves to the Wigmore Hall I New Kazakh opera house beset by delays I Grange Park Opera turns 15 in style I and more ...

IN THE WINGS 14 TALENT SPOTIING Premiere of the month: Cad Unander-Scharin's The Elephant Man at orrlandsoperan

MAIN STAGE 18 COVER FEATURE The dashing young Albanian tenor, Saimir Pirgu, talks about growing up under Communism, the good advice that he's received from his operatic heroes, and the importance of singers following a structured approach to their careers

24 POSTCARD FROM ... China - where Western opera, banned for three decades during the Cultural Revolution, is

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now enjoymg a renaissance fuelled by galloping economic growth

29 ASIAN AGE Regional opera in important centres across the Far East

32-45 SEASON PREVIEW Opera Now's pick of production highlights from the 2012/ 13 international opera season, including world prernieres, new stagings and classic revivals

46 INSPIRATIONS British tenor Ian Bostridge pays tribute to the legendary German baritone Dietrich FischerDieskau, who became his 'father figure' and mentor

48 OPERA BLUFF Become an instant expert on Handel's Giulio Cesare

51 SQUILLO Michael White celebrates the life and unjustly neglected work of British soprano Jennifer Vyvyan, who inspired sorne ofBritten's most memorable leading ladies

THE CRITICAL VIEW 54-67 LIVE REVIEWS Berlioz and Verdi at Covent Garden I Oliver Knussen's 60th birthday in Aldeburgh I Festival reports from Aix-enProvence, Saint Louis, Holland Park and Grange Park I Chinese folk opera premieres in Beijing I New productions in Parma, Washington and London

MULTIMEDIA 68 NEW RELEASES Opera on DVD and CD

BACK STAGE 71 OPERA ONLINE Opera Noli' explores the digital realm for the juiciest backstage gossip and the best seat in the house

78 CURTAIN CALL Tom Sutcliffe advocates public performance as a better training-ground for singers than today's artificial manufacturing of'stars'

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