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FRONT OF HOUSE 5 EDITORIAL Surviving the epidemic 7 LETTERS Your thoughts and suggestions 8 PERSPECTIVES In the grip of the coronavirus: cancellations, closures and chaos at the opera 10 NEWS AND NOTES Operatic meltdown in Italy 12 LETTER FROM… Florence, where a visionary new boss is making an impact at the Maggio Musicale

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REVIEWS 50-73 LIVE PRODUCTIONS Fidelio at the Royal Opera House (50), Luisa Miller at ENO (52), The Marriage of Figaro at ENO (54), Il Trovatore at La Scala (56), Tosca at Teatro di San Carlo (58), Palla de’ Mozzi at Teatro Lirico di Cagliari (61), Parsifal at Teatro Massimo (62), Der Schmied von Gent at Flanders Opera (64), Los Angeles focus (Eurydice at LA Opera, The Weimar Republic: Germany 1918-1933 LA Phil festival)(66), Agrippina at the Metropolitan Opera (70), Egmont at Theater an der Wien (72) 75 CD & DVD REVIEWS Offenbach operettas on CD and DVD, a little-known verismo work by Pierantonio Tasca, a new Almira from the Boston Early Music Festival, Cav & Pag with Oksana Lyniv – plus Chen Reiss on her album of rare Beethoven arias 79 COLLECTOR’S CORNER A guide to the best recordings of Lehár’s The Merry Widow

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82-88 SPOTLIGHT YOUR MONTHLY GUIDE TO OPERA WORLDWIDE New Productions • World Premieres • Exceptional Casts Rarities • Opera Now Choice

J O H A N N E S I F K O V I T S

‘I tease Cecilia Bartoli, saying she owes her whole career to me!’

CONTENTS

16 PIOTR BECZALA Piotr Beczala is one of the finest lyric tenors of our day. How is he preparing for the next stage in his glittering career: tackling the great verismo roles? 22 MASCARADE OPERA STUDIO Stand by for the launch of Mascarade, taking a new approach to training young singers 27 MIRELLA FRENI Remembering the enchanting soprano who brought immense natural charm and lyrical beauty to every role she sang 38 COMPETITIONS CONUNDRUM Does the winner really take it all? We ask the experts where the true value in singing competitions lies

33 DIRECTOR’S CUT Claus Guth brings humanity and insight to the operas he stages, with ideas that are always daring and original

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43 POISON, POLITICS AND THE FIGHT FOR JUSTICE Grange Park Opera gears up for its world premiere of an opera about the infamous murder of Alexander Litvinenko 46 FROM THE WINGS Let’s cut the overture and go straight to the action… 48 TRAVELS IN ITALY Anthony Ogus discovers unfamiliar operas in Florence and Turin before the coronavirus lockdown 74 GLYNDEBOURNE CUP Who was the surprising winner in this year’s competition? 89 WHY I LOVE OPERA World renowned perfumer Roja Dove www.operanow.co.uk

OperaNow April 2020 3

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