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Festival: Grange Park Opera

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Country-house Ball: Verdi at Grange Park Opera

Claire Rutter (Amelia) and Vincenzo Costanzo (Riccardo) © Robert Workman
Grange Park Opera’s enjoyable new production of Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera looks a little homespun on stage, but has plenty of musical compensations.
***11
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Sixteen nuns executed near Winchester: Dialogues des Carmélites at Grange Park

Hye-Youn Lee (Sister Blanche), Soraya Mafi (Sister Constance)  ©  Grange Park Opera 2013 / Robert Workman
When you think chic, black-tie country house opera, you probably don’t also think sixteen barefoot nuns being executed. Grange Park Opera’s fusion of these two contrasting ideas, however, has a lot going for it: their production of Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites combines its minimal but effective staging with some impressive singing.
***11
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Bel canto pleasures: I Puritani at Grange Park

Christophoros Stamboglis as Giorgio Valton  ©  Robert Workman, Grange Park Opera
With programming in the major opera houses dominated by Verdi and Wagner, bel canto fans have had a slightly thin time of it this year (Covent Garden’s La donna del lago is an exception). But others are filling some of the gaps, with Rossini’s Maometto II coming up at Garsington and Stephen Langridge’s production of Bellini’s I Puritani, which opened at Grange Park last night.
****1
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