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Bartoli, a tour de force in Salzburg's Ariodante / The Hamilton Spectator

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What can pack a wallop and bowl over just about anything and anybody? If you said a 113 km/hr wind storm that ripped through the Salzburg area uprooting trees and knocking out electrical power for many, give yourself a pat on the back. If you also said Cecilia Bartoli in the Salzburg Festival's production of Handel's opera, "Ariodante," give yourself a double pat on the back. Bartoli was nothing short of a tour de force in the trouser role, a gender-bender which director Christof Loy and costume designer Ursula Renzenbrink had her all dolled up as a bearded man, then looking like Austria's Conchita Wurst, and then in the final act as herself. Sure, it's a topsy-turvy world, but trying to figure out those twists and turns wasn't worth the time.

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