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FRONT OF HOUSE 5 EDITORIAL Is opera up to the challenge of true diversity? 6 LETTERS Your thoughts and suggestions 8 THE ESSAY Does ‘Cancel Culture’ limit the message of opera? 10 NEWS & NOTES Opera North tops the Covid Recovery Fund

S H E R V I

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‘Black singers tend to be cast as some type of looming presence rather than loving, sympathetic characters’

G A R R Y

B R A N D O N

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42-56 LIVE REVIEWS Wexford Festival Opera’s online 2020 festival (42), 4 /4 at the Royal Opera House (45), Mozart’s Requiem at ENO (47), Aida at La Scala (48), A Dream of Armageddon at New National Theatre Tokyo (50), Madama Butterfly at Greek National Opera (52), Falstaff at Malmö Opera (54), Diana Damrau and Joseph Calleja in concert at the Royal Palace of Caserta (56) 58-71 RECORDING 58 CD & DVD Reviews A live Matilde di Shabran from the 2019 Rossini in Wildbad Festival and a new ‘Lockdown Opera’. The complete operatic works of RimskyKorsakov. Unearthing CFE Horneman’s epic Aladdin. A new disc of English-language songs by French composers. James Newby’s Songs of Loneliness. Virtuosic opera transcriptions for piano 69 Collector’s Corner Opera Now selects 10 highlights from Plácido Domingo’s 60year recording career 72 Streaming The operatically rich region of Emilia Romagna in Italy is opening its great theatres to the world via a new online platform

75-79 SPOTLIGHT A guide to international opera in a changing world

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CONTENTS

12 LETTER FROM New Zealand: how the national opera company has successfully navigated the challenges of the pandemic 15 DOMINGO AT 80 Though we can’t ignore Plácido Domingo’s failings, it’s still right to celebrate a superb artist and certainly the greatest opera singer of his generation on his 80th birthday 18 COLOUR OF THE VOICE Lawrence Brownlee, one of the world’s most distinguished tenors, discusses the great bel canto roles he has made his own and the prejudice he still experiences today as a Black male opera singer

24 A LIFE BEYOND BARRIERS How the unparalleled Verdi soprano Leontyne Price made history by pioneering opportunities for Black casting on the international opera stage 29 LEGENDARY SINGERS Remembering the impassioned vocalism of Mario Lanza in his centenary year 34 ARTIST PROFILE Baritone Ross Ramgobin is making waves in the UK opera scene with his outstanding stage presence 38 FUTURE OPERA The series continues with a look at how the art of opera singing is keeping up with the pace of technology

80 QUIZ Put your operatic knowledge to the test with another fiendish quiz

82 WHY I LOVE OPERA Journalist and campaigner Zeinab Badawi www.operanow.co.uk

OperaNow January/February 2021 3

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