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Christmas Presents

Lohengrin Wagner

Will he or won’t he? Any arguments over the ‘new production’ status of Claus Guth’s staging – first seen, in fact, at La Scala in 2012 – were upstaged by doubts over Jonas Kaufmann appearing in the title role

PARIS OPERA (BASTILLE)

Music

Staging

Kaufmann

The star tenor had been out of action for months due to a vocal cord injury and had backed out of the inaugural concert at Hamburg’s new Elbphilharmonie where he was scheduled to give the first performance of a work Wolfgang Rihm had written for him. Surprisingly, he decided to make his comeback instead with a punishing run of Lohengrins in Paris – hardly the shortest of roles – and stumped us all with a performance of rare musicianship. True, the voice sometimes sounded slightly veiled but his ability to shape the music, cradle the text and float magical pianissimi remained world-beating. The Bastille audience gave him a stupendous ovation.

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About Opera Now

British soprano Sophie Bevan discusses her starring role in a new opera at ENO; exploring the hidden art of the répétiteur; traditional craftsmanship meets contemporary design at Oman’s Royal Opera House Muscat; and Cardiff prepares to crown the Singer of the World. Plus, our pick of this year’s top singing competitions around the world; English Touring Opera proves that learning about opera can be educational and fun; American baritone and movie star Nelson Eddy; Simon Callow’s Wagnerian triumph; and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf’s legendary recordings.
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