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Performer: Rachel Nicholls

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Beethoven's Fidelio as fervent prayer in Leeds

Opera North performed a semi-staged and shortened Fidelio with a committed group of soloists, chorus and orchestra led by Mark Wiggelsworth.  With a pared Orchestra, the opera came across as a hymn of hope.
****1
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Patience is a virtue in the Teatro Regio's marvellous Tristan und Isolde

What distinguishes Noseda's Tristan most of all is especial balance in the orchestra and a transparency of sound that reveals the inner-workings of the music.
****1
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Sensitive Schreker and energetic Rachmaninov from the BBC SO

A dramatic new work from Nicola LeFanu with soprano Rachel Nicholls and the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Ilan Volkov, together with a fine account of Schreker's Nachtstück.
***11
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A rapturous Tristan und Isolde in Paris

At the basic level Tristan und Isolde is an opera of hormones, not happenings; fathoms deeper it explores human experience at a point where sense is dumb and flesh retires – as close to heaven and hell as it’s possible to go without first having to die.
****1
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Masaaki Suzuki and Bach Collegium Japan entrance

Masaaki Suzuki leads Bach Collegium Japan in delicate renderings of the Orchestral Suite no.3, the Double Concerto and the Magnificat that convince more in the slower passages.
***11
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Boris Godunov with a star British cast wows St Endellion

If Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, then Boris Godunov is about five Russian dolls' worth.
*****
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