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CONTENTS

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FRONT OF HOUSE | Contents

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‘I prefer female characters when they have a serious side to them.’ Venera Gimadieva

C O L L E C T I O N

P O T T E R

T U L LY

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FRONT OF HOUSE 5 EDITORIAL The social impact of opera

6 FEEDBACK Your thoughts and suggestions

9 NEWS & NOTES New leadership in Wexford and Pesaro| Iford Opera lives on in new venues| Bath Opera’s opportunities for gifted amateurs | Clonter Opera Theatre celebrates its founders 80th | and more…

MAIN STAGE 14 ALL THE RIGHT MOVES Soprano Venera Gimadieva is a rising star of bel canto, bringing an unusual strength and modernity to the tragic heroines she plays. We trace her journey from exotic Tatarstan to the great stages of the opera world

22 WEEKEND IN… Naples – Southern Italy’s historic city is known for its cuisine, but also boasts the oldest continuously used opera theatre in the world

24 GODS AND MONSTERS Composer Gavin Higgins introduces his new score for Covent Garden

26 FOLLOW THE ARROWS Japanese contemporary opera at Tokyo’s New National Theatre

30 VISIBLE DIFFERENCE Focus on Vilnius City Opera, a small but adventurous company that’s changing the face of opera in Lithuania

35 LEGENDARY SINGERS Benjamin Ivry shines a spotlight on the fascinating career of soprano Lisa Della Casa

38 STUDIO TIME Rosemary Joshua takes the helm of Amsterdam’s new Dutch National Opera

42 PROMISE FULFILLED Tackling the prejudice of an age at Heslinki’s Mirjam Helin Competition

44 ARTIST OF THE MONTH Wagnerian soprano Cornelia Beskow www.operanow.co.uk

47 TRAVELS WITH MY OPERA GLASSES Professor Anthony Ogus pays a long-overdue visit to the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples

THE CRITICAL VIEW 53-72 LIVE REVIEWS La Scala stages a powerful new production of Verdi’s Attila | Stéphane Degout makes a star turn as Hamlet in Paris | Chiara Muti directs a richly coloured Così in Naples | Rare Donizetti operas take centre stage in Bergamo | Maria Callas returns to the stage as a hologram | World premieres in Vienna and Huddersfield | More new productions in London and Bologna

81 BOOKS A new history of Britain’s D’Oyly Carte Opera Company

BACK STAGE 90 SQUILLO A change in culture is urgently required to attract younger opera audiences, argues Michael White

82-89 SPOTLIGHT Opera Now’s INTERNATIONAL GUIDE to the best live performances this spring PLUS Opera on screen

74 COMPANY PROFILE Parma’s Verdi Festival celebrates the composer’s operatic genius

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

Venera Gimadieva. Photo by P Vaan / L Semenyuk

FEBRUARY 2019 Opera Now 3

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