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Performer: Rodula Gaitanou

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LondonUn ballo in mascheraNew production

Anne Sophie Duprels (Amelia) and Matteo Lippi (Gustavo) © Ali Wright
Verdi: Un ballo in maschera
Matthew Kofi Waldren; Rodula Gaitanou; Opera Holland Park; Matteo Lippi; Anne-Sophie Duprels; George von Bergen; Rosalind Plowright

WexfordDon Quichotte

Massenet: Don Quichotte
Timothy Myers; Rodula Gaitanou; Wexford Festival Opera; takis; Goderdzi Janelidze; Aigul Akhmetshina
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Un ballo in maschera showcases Opera Holland Park at its best

Anne Sophie Duprels (Amelia) and Matteo Lippi (Gustavo) © Ali Wright
Gaitanou’s direction of the singers is so exact that it becomes impossible to separate them from their characters.
*****
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Bloody and marvellous Wexford double bill by Leoni and Giordano

Leon Kim (Uin-Scî) and Joo Won Kang (Cim-Fen) in L'oracolo © Clive Barda
A terrifically strong cast gives a fine rendition of two lesser heard operas: Giordano's Mala vita Leoni's L'oracolo.
****1
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An engrossing La traviata at Opera Holland Park

Lauren Fagan (Violetta) © Robert Workman
Opera Holland Park starts its 2018 season with a bang (and a cough), offering a splendid new production of La traviata. Lauren Fagan is a sensational Violetta, but the production is a real company effort and achievement.
****1
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Elena Zilio leads the verismo thrills

Elena Zilio (Mamma Lucia) and Byran Hymel (Turiddu) © ROH | Catherine Ashmore
After its Christmas break, Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci return to the Royal Opera in Daminano Michieletto's arresting production. 
****1
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Evil under the sun: Hymel triumphs in Cav and Pag

Simon Keenlyside (Tonio), Bryan Hymel (Canio), Carmen Giannattasio (Nedda) © ROH | Catherine Ashmore
Even stronger than first time round, Michieletto's impressive staging is complemented by an outstanding double role debut from Hymel and a heartbreaking Santuzza from Elīna Garanča.
*****
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