Joyce DiDonato, Lidiya Yankovskaya, Amanda Woodbury Lead Top 5 Operas to See This Weekend – North America

By David Salazar

The good news – there is a lot of good opera going around North America throughout the weekend. As such, this weekend’s top picks were not easy to come by or select. But the curation came down to a number of unique new operas and rarely performed gems of old with star-studded casts stretching from the east all the way to the west.

Freedom Ride – Chicago Opera Theater, Illinois

Dan Shore’s new work gets its world premiere on Saturday under the baton of Lidiya Yankovskaya. The opera, which places a spotlight on the Congress of Racial Equality in New Orleans in 1961, will star Dara Rahming, Whitney Morrison, Zoie Reams, Tyrone Chambers, and Cornelius Johnson, among others. New operas are the future of the art form and Shore’s new work is undeniably one to watch.

Fellow Travelers – Madison Opera, Wisconsin

Speaking of future of the art form, Spears and Pierce’s “Fellow Travelers” has firmly established itself as part of opera’s present with the latest production coming to the Wisconsin company for two nights only. This work, which has been acclaimed by critics nationwide, will star Andres Acosta and Ben Edquist, both in their company debuts. The showcase will take place on Friday and Sunday.

Agrippina – Metropolitan Opera

While “Agrippina” belongs to opera’s past, the work is also slowly establishing itself as part of the current conversation due to its intricate look at power dynamics that remain relevant to this day. Of course, the opera’s resurgence is also due, in no small part, to its championing by famed mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato who will lead this cast in the second performance of the Met Opera production. Brenda Rae, Kate Lindsey, Iestyn Davies, Duncan Rock, and Matthew Rose all headline with Harry Bicket at the podium for the Sunday performance.

The Abduction of the Seraglio – Opera Omaha

Before launching into its One Festival, Opera Omaha will present Mozart’s German masterwork, written by Gottlieb Stephanie. This production boasts Amanda Woodbury in the role of Costanze with Jack Swanson as Belmonte and Erik Anstine as Osmin.

An American Quartet – Portland Opera

Starting on Friday and Sunday, Portland Opera will showcase a unique four-opera bill conducted by Nicholas Fox and Allison Narver. The showcase reaches back to opera’s past and brings us to its present with works by Menotti, Barber, Moore, and Hoiby, providing differing perspectives on the American perspective.