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FRONT OF HOUSE 5 EDITORIAL The recovery position 7 LETTERS Your thoughts and suggestions 8-16 OPERA AFTER LOCKDOWN When will be able to get back into our opera houses? Our special report on how opera companies are preparing to re-open their doors to live performances 17 NEWS & NOTES A round-up of latest development from around the opera world

H A R U T U N YA N

: N A R E K

P H OTO

C O V E R

52-71 STAYING IN REVIEW The Metropolitan Opera’s ambitious At Home Gala. All your favourite stars, along with a glimpse of their soft furnishings BOOKS A handsome new edition of Wagner’s libretto of The Ring from the Folio Society; Novels with an operatic theme NEW RELEASES CD & DVD Reviews A long-lost fragment of Tristan und Isolde; Verdi’s Attila starring Ildebrando D’Arcangelo; A Thaïs that ranks alongside the best. A new studio recording of Otello starring Jonas Kaufmann; Die Walküre on DVD from the Royal Opera House. Debut solo albums Samuel Mariño: a sensational male soprano sings Handel & Gluck; Adriana González sings newly discovered 20thcentury Mélodies by Dussaut & Covatti; Seljan Nasibili’s Femmes Fatales OPERA ONLINE Our pick of the latest complete operas to stream online from opera houses around the world. Plus ‘Light Bites’: online short videos to keep you entertained and amused

73-79 SPOTLIGHT A Guide to opera in a post-pandemic world

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‘My credo is that we have to help each other and we don’t have to wait until we’re successful to do so’

CONTENTS

18 SWEET SUCCESS Her name means ‘sweet and soft’ in her native Armenian, but there’s an edge of steely determination and whirlwind energy in Anush Hovhannisyan. Adrian Mourby met the young soprano in Cardiff earlier this year, the day after one of her life’s big adventures… 26 THE ULTIMATE VERDIAN Carlo Bergonzi was a legend in his own lifetime as the greatest Verdi tenor of the modern age. He continues to be an inspiration to singers and opera-lovers today 32 OUT OF THE FIRE Scottish soprano Lee Bissett was all set to sing her first Brünnhilde this year. But then ‘events’ took over… 35 WOMEN’S LIBERTY Seven female opera directors defy tradition to give us their

Enter our prize draw to win BERGONZI – THE VERDI

TENOR A classic limited-edition

17-CD survey of the legendary tenor’s art from DECCA Classics.

Details on page 31

www.operanow.co.uk

Contents

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contemporary view of opera’s heroines 41 A POWERHOUSE TO THE END Tom Sutcliffe pays a personal tribute to Sir Peter Jonas, one of the most visionary and influential operatic impresarios of recent times 46 FRENCH LESSONS Helena Matheopoulos remembers Janine Reiss, one of the great voice coaches of our time who taught the stars to sing in French 48 THE BEST MEDICINE? Can opera to cheer us up in difficult times? Michael White sets out to separate opera’s genuine belly laughs from its polite titters 83 WHY I LOVE OPERA George Manginis, the academic director of the Benaki Museum in Athens

OperaNow July/August 2020 3

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