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This DVD should come with a health warning that the first six minutes are a dumb show. This might have seemed clever to members of the audience but viewers at home are more likely to be reaching for their remotes, trying to discover why there’s no sound. The same device is yawningly used in front of the second and third acts. Christoph Marthaler’s production of The Makropulos Case (or Affair as they call it here) was the first time the opera has been staged in Salzburg. Although he’s good at producing powerful characterisations from his cast, too many of his production details are irritating rather than illuminating.

Angela Denoke, for whom the production was staged, is striking as Emilia Marty, the 300-year-old opera singer who has grown tired of life, and there is a strong supporting cast. It is a pleasure to see Ryland Davies enjoying himself so much as the dotty old Hauk-Sendorf. Esa-Pekka Salonen produces emotional magic from the pit.

Richard Fawkes Read the full review on Agora Classica

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