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Performer: Graeme Danby

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An entertaining Cenerentola from Irish National Opera

Andrew Owens (Prince Ramiro) and Tara Erraught (Cinderella) © Patrick Redmond
Excellent soloists, inventive sets and fine direction from Sheil and Phelan makes for an entertaining Cenerentola at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre Dublin. 
***11
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An Aida that strips away the Egyptian iconography

Imelda Drumm (Amneris), Manfred Hemm (Ramfis), Graeme Danby (King) and Gwyn Hughes Jones (Radamès) © Pat Redmond
Michael Barker-Caven sets Aida in a 21st-century war zone in the Middle-East, allowing the audience to focus on the human drama.
*****
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Revolutionary jungle fever: Verdi's Alzira in Buxton

James Cleverton (Gusmano) and Jung Soo Yun (Zamoro) © Richard Hubert Smith
A spirited account of Verdi's early opera in its first professional UK staging, nowhere near as “ugly” as Verdi would have had us believe. 
****1
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Fun and frolics at Irish National Opera's Figaro

Jonathan Lemalu (Figaro) and Tara Erraught (Susanna) © Pat Redmond
A wonderful ful-filled caper by the Irish National Opera of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro with Erraught as Susanna and Miskelly as Cherubino really impressing. 
****1
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Hot ice and strange snow

Joshua Bloom (Bottom) and Soraya Mafi (Tytania) © Robert Workman
In Siberian conditions more akin to The Winter's Tale, a revival of Robert Carsen's season setting of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream offered a warm glow at the Coliseum.
****1
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Risk of sensory overload: ENO's Lulu

William Kentridge's Lulu for ENO is easier to admire than it is to love. But if you want to be challenged dramatically, this is the opera to do it.
***11
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