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E A L O V E G A

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FRONT OF HOUSE | Contents

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K M E T I T S C H

W E R N E R

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‘I’ve been involved in martial arts all my life and it makes me very rooted.’ Riccardo Massi

FRONT OF HOUSE 5 EDITORIAL Soft diplomacy: opera in the Middle East

6 FEEDBACK Your thoughts and suggestions

8 NEWS & NOTES Saudi Arabia stages first opera | Teresa Berganza honoured at International Opera Awards | Opera North unveils redevelopment | Stephen Barlow to step down from Buxton Festival | American mezzo wins inaugural Glyndebourne Cup | and more…

MAIN STAGE 12 ALL ACTION Italian tenor and martial arts expert Riccardo Massi cuts a striking figure on stage, bringing visceral energy to his portrayals of opera’s great romantic heroes.We chart his rapid rise to success

20 LEGENDARY SINGERS Swedish soprano Birgit Nilsson was a complex, self-determined diva with a phenomenal voice www.operanow.co.uk of steel and fire. Opera Now celebrates the centenary of a peerless operatic icon

28 LEADING LADY Annilese Miskimmon takes the helm at Norwegian National Opera

30 CLOSE ENCOUNTERS Pop-up performances in intimate surroundings

33 GOUNOD AT 200 Dusting down the unjustly forgotten operas of Charles-François Gounod

36 BLOOD ON THE ICE David Sawer introduces the world premiere of his ice-skating murder mystery for Garsington Festival

39 LOST AND FOUND Bampton Classical Opera turns 25 with a new staging of Isouard’s Cendrillon

42 A TASTE OF THE LEVANT Simon Broughton reports from Beirut’s Al Bustan Festival

45 LIFE WITH MY VOICE American baritone John Chest makes his Glyndebourne debut as Debussy’s Pelléas

49 TRAVELS WITH MY OPERA GLASSES Witty, dramatic and wistful treats from France and Belgium

THE CRITICAL VIEW 55-77 LIVE REVIEWS ENO goes over the top with Traviata | Scottish Opera puts a tartan twist on Strauss | Vienna plays host to two Von Einem rarities | Florida Grand Opera scores a hit with Gluck’s Orfeo | World premieres in London, Zurich and Vilnius | London Handel Festival 2018 | More new productions from London, Nuremberg and Wiesbaden

79 NEW RELEASES Opera and lieder on CD, DVD and Blu-ray

84 BOOKS Artist Paul Klee’s brush with opera

BACK STAGE 98 SQUILLO Should opera be pilloried for being ‘posh’?

87-96 SPOTLIGHT Opera Now’s INTERNATIONAL GUIDE to the best live performances this summer

PLUS Opera on screen

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Riccardo Massi. Photo by Benjamin Ealovega

MAY 2018 Opera Now 3

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