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Performer: Elena Xanthoudakis

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Damp squibs prevent ETO's Rossini: Fireworks! from taking off

Elena Xanthoudakis © William Knight
ETO's extracts from Rossini's serious operas at the Hackney Empire lacked spark and dynamism, but saw a fine showing from Elena Xanthoudakis and Catherine Carby.
***11
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Something old, something new: Donizetti's Pia de' Tolomei

Elena Xanthoudakis (Pia) © Jane Hobson
Donizetti's back catalogue proves just as rich as his well-loved works, with this blisteringly good foray into an extraordinary opera whose UK premiere is 179 undeserved years late. 
*****
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Mysterium: La Verdi buoyed by Rota's rising star

Rota's Mysterium is emotive and direct. La Verdi demonstrated that this most human of works deserves a place on our musical maps.
****1
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The last revival: The Magic Flute at London Coliseum

The house was full for the opening night at the London Coliseum, and there were plenty of whoops for conductor Nicholas Collon as he made his ENO debut. This year marks the 25th anniversary of ENO's celebrated production of Mozart's The Magic Flute, and this revival – the fourteenth – will be the last.
****1
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Eglise Gutiérrez sparkles in a sleepy Covent Garden Sonnambula

When you discover your bride-to-be in another man's bed on the eve of your wedding day, the excuse "Darling, I must have been sleepwalking" rates somewhere near the same level of credibility as "Sir, the dog ate my homework." But hey, this is opera, and bel canto opera at that. You didn't come to Bellini's La Sonnambula for the story and the drama: you came here for the singing.
***11
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