If you are going to produce a rarely staged G. F. Handel opera, it is a good thing to have a few Handel operas under your belt. Opera NEO’s vibrant, superbly sung “Partenope” this past weekend (August 3 & 5) revealed how confidently this company has succeeded in making these Baroque operas as dramatically engaging as the popular verismo warhorses.

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For Opera NEO’s 2018 Summer Opera Festival and Workshop, San Diego’s younger, adventurous opera company will feature a rare Handel opera, “Partenope,” Franz Lehár’s beloved chestnut “The Merry Widow,” and “Idomeneo,” a Mozart opera most opera lovers know by title only.

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