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What a strange collection of operas to release together, unless one went to Aix each year and wanted a souvenir. First up is La Traviata, directed by Peter Mussbach and starring Mireille Delunsch, a Monroe lost midstage (and seemingly mid-road at times) and open to emotional abuse from anyone passing by. It’s very wearing to watch, monochromatic and with annoying video projections. Delunsch works hard but ultimately is uninvolving. A shame, as her voice is confident if unidiomatic, and Matthew Polenzani’s elegant Alfredo and Zeljko Lucic’s firm Germont are attractive. Leaving Marilyn on her motorway, we move to Die Entführung aus dem Serail, in an infantile production by Jérôme Deschamps and Macha Makeïeff, which trots through the story and manages little else. Surely the sight of an extra slipping over could have been edited out. Malin Hartelius has 90 per cent of the role within her considerable technique, but the remainder is annoyingly flat. Matthias Klink is a stylish Belmonte; Marc Minkowski conducts with some exaggerated tempi. Things pick up with Minkowski conducting a spirited L’incoronazione di Poppea, with Delunsch again this time partnered by Anne Sofie von Otter, and both very good. Alas Klaus Michael Grüber’s production is so poorly lit that it’s difficult to comment on it, but performances from Sylvie Brunet, Charlotte Hellekant and Denis Sedov are all vivid. Finally there is Julie, directed splendidly by Luc Bondy, clear in purpose, emotionally detailed, and with passionate performances from Gary Magee, Malena Ermann and Kerstin Avemo. Kuzushi Ono negotiates Boesmans’ neurotic score with great skill.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica

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