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Thankfully, Handel’s Xerxes, filmed in Frankfurt, 2017, looks good on stage and works well on film. Tilmann Köhler’s modern dress production is another instance of video installation, this time blending the cast, which meets around a long table, with film of the same. Add a catwalk around the orchestra, plus access via steps from the stalls, and the stage is set for multiple entrances and exits, all of which suits the madcap story of disguises, misunderstandings and disconnections propelled forwards by a plethora of arias. It is a bravura production with a cast to match. Gaëlle Arquez is a smoothly focused Xerxes, Louise Alder and Elizabeth Sutphen divide the abundant soprano honours, Lawrence Zazzo’s countertenor contrasts well with Tanja Ariane Beumgartner’s explosive mezzo, and Brandon Cedel anchors things with a firm bass. Constantinos Carydis conducts with pliancy and energy.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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