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Performer: Chorus of Welsh National Opera

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WNO’s Figaro revival crackles with humour and exudes joie de vivre

Soraya Mafi (Susanna) and Anita Watson (Countess) © Richard Hubert Smith
A solid Figaro in Cardiff, in which individual performances are a joy, and humour abounds. 
****1
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WNO tackles Vêpres but the vocal fireworks fail to ignite

Marine Tournet (dancer) and Giorgio Caoduro (Montfort) © Johan Persson
David Pountney completes his “Verdi trilogy” for the company but although his staging has fluidity, it lacks an explosive ending... and the vocal performances disappoint. 
***11
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A White House Rigoletto with some impressive voices

Mark S Doss (Rigoletto) © Richard Hubert Smith
Welsh National Opera brought a cast of strong voices to Birmingham for a production of Rigoletto intriguingly set in the White House of the 1960s. 
***11
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Carmen in Cardiff: WNO's powerful new production is a triumph

Virginie Verrez (Carmen) and Dimitri Pittas (Don José) © Bill Cooper
Virginie Verrez acted not with fire and ice but with gallic insouciance.
****1
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War and Peace: WNO comes to London to parade its wares

War and Peace © Clive Barda
It’s a small miracle that the production has been recreated so well in such a short time frame.
****1
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Joyce El-Khoury shines as Donizetti's Tudor queen

Joyce El Khoury (Elisabetta) © Bill Cooper
It is a thing of wonder that Roberto Devereux is one of Donizetti’s lesser known works. Whether on account of its challenging soprano part, or its fussy Tudor setting, it is rarely performed, but contains some of the composer’s most beautiful – and indeed memorable – arias and duets.
****1
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