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Performer: Nicholas Lester

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Stylish, powerful Nixon in China from Scottish Opera

Julia Sporsén (Pat Nixon) © James Glossop

Scottish Opera’s Nixon in China in a stylish, living history production from John Fulljames, with strong performances across the board, Joana Carneiro stoking the fires in the pit.

****1
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The Grange Festival's Falstaff hits all the right notes

Robert Hayward (Falstaff) © Clive Barda
Comic opera can fall flat, but if The Grange Festival's new production of Verdi's final masterpiece is a total delight, with a strong concept and a strong cast. This is country-house opera at its best.
*****
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Vienna goes to Broadway for ENO's Merry Widow

Sarah Tynan (Hanna) © Clive Barda
ENO's Merry Widow is big, brash, and more than a touch juvenile – but it's the most fun one can have at the opera.
****1
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A house debut to savour: Natalya Romaniw in ENO's Bohème

Natalya Romaniw (Mimì) © Robert Workman
Jonathan Miller's production of La bohème is revived by ENO and features an important house debut. 
****1
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Talented young cast shines in New Zealand Opera's La bohème

Thomas Atkins (Rodolfo) and Marlena Devoe (Mimì) © David Rowland
It was hard not to be drawn in by the romance and tragedy as presented by such a sincere, credible and vocally talented young cast and a conductor with such strong identification with the idiom.
****1
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A girl next door: La bohème at Dorset Opera Festival

Lauren Michelle (Musetta) and Charles Johnston (Alcindoro) © Fritz Curzon
It's not easy to imagine a freezing Parisian attic when you're in the middle of the rolling Dorset countryside in a baking summer, but Dorset Opera's excellent production of Puccini's La bohème is atmospheric enough to do so.
****1
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