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Il tabarro review — Puccini's darkest opera glows with the Hallé

★★★★☆
A watery thread brought Mark Elder and the Hallé to the sludgy banks of the Seine for the tragic first part of Puccini’s ll trittico, Il tabarro (The Cloak). There was a flood of Wagnerian proportions in Dukas’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice before the Hallé gleamed and glowed in Respighi’s coruscating Fountains of Rome. Then it was onto a far darker story.

Despite the difficulties of semi-staging an opera set on a barge and in which the tenor has to become a hidden corpse, this is the Trittico opera that deserves airing outside the opera house. Puccini’s benighted characters are bound to the river and trapped by their miserable, inexorable fate, a story that is told foremost in the remarkable orchestral

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