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Breathless in Beijing: Hong Kong Philharmonic Dazzles With Wagner’s ‘Die Walküre’

Michael Macleod, chief executive of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, has been instrumental in revamping the body since taking the helm in 2011. Photo: Poornima Weerasekara
Michael Macleod, chief executive of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, has been instrumental in revamping the body since taking the helm in 2011. Photo: Poornima Weerasekara

(Beijing) — The Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra’s intense, five-hour rendition of Richard Wagner’s “Die Walküre” (“The Valkyrie”) left classical-music lovers breathless, but yearning for more during Tuesday’s performance at the Beijing Poly Theater.

Conductor Jaap Van Zweden’s sense of pacing and drama never falters, with vivid climaxes including the frightening scene depicting the rage of Wotan, the king of gods, as he seeks out the warrior maiden Brünnhilde in the third act.

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