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Performer: Deborah Nansteel

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St LouisAwakenings

Picker: Awakenings
Roberto Kalb; James Robinson; Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; Allen Moyer; James Schuette; Joyce El-Khoury; Deborah Nansteel
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Russell Thomas shines in gloomy David Alden's Otello

Russell Thomas (Otello) © Scott Suchman
The combination of a strong, spirited cast and a first-rate orchestral performance led by Daniele Callegari rendered the opera a moving experience in spite of drab staging and latent, unexplored tensions.
***11
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Bard Musical Festival presents a thrilling Die tote Stadt

Clay Hilley (Paul), Kirsten Harvey (Marie's Ghost) and Sara Jakubiak (Marietta) © Stephanie Berger
American singers Clay Hilley and Sara Jakubiak offered performances of distinction in two fiendishly difficult roles.
****1
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Washington National Opera's sparkling Daughter of the Regiment

Lisette Oropesa (Marie), Kevin Burdette (Sulpice) and Lawrence Brownlee (Tonio) © Scott Suchman
Robert Longbottom's take on Donizetti's Daughter of the Regiment captures the spirit of bel canto in Washington DC. 
****1
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An updated Roméo et Juliette at Santa Fe

Ailyn Pérez (Juliette) © Ken Howard
Santa Fe Opera presented Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette in Stephen Lawless’ mid 19th-century staging, a co-production with Barcelona's Liceu. Before the overture, General Director Charles MacKay came onstage to announce that Stephen Costello was ill and would be replaced by Joshua Guerrero, a graduate of the Los Angeles Opera Young Artist Program.
****1
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Roméo et Juliette at the Lyric

If the production is full of pleasures, they do not immediately or obviously connect to a sense of some larger plan, which might have been helped along with a more dynamic set.
***11
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