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The Boston Globe

Music

Classical Notes

Title characters energize ‘The Merry Wives’

Now a mainstay of the city’s summer music scene, Boston Midsummer Opera every year offers a single English-language production that allows the company to highlight young talent and gives opera lovers a brief respite from the summer doldrums. Many past Midsummer productions have been of familiar repertoire, such as Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale” in 2012 and Rossini’s “The Italian Girl in Algiers” in 2011.

This year, though, the company has gone after more obscure fare. It is offering three performances of “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” written in the 1840s by Otto Nicolai, known today not only as a moderately successful composer but also as one of the founders of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Still somewhat popular in Europe, “The Merry Wives” is rarely staged in the States, though its sparkling overture still shows up on concert programs.

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