Top 5 Operas of the Weekend – North America (3/2-4): ‘Faust,’ ‘Don Carlo’ & Other Repertory Favorites Dominate Weekend

By David Salazar

It’s a big weekend around the United States with two high-profile opera companies showcasing the debut of major productions.

In this week’s picks, you will see a mix of major stars and big companies with up-and-comers at smaller organizations. Here are our top five picks in alphabetical order by company. 

Faust – Lyric Opera of Chicago

Superstar soprano Ailyn Pérez makes her long-awaited Lyric Opera of Chicago operatic debut as Marguerite alongside Ben Bernheim in the title role. Christian Van Horn takes on the role of Méphistophélès. Emmanuel Villaume conducts. The first performance of the run takes place on Saturday evening.

Rigoletto – Lyric Opera of Kansas City

The company showcases the Verdi tragedy starting on Saturday, March 3, 2018 with a cast that includes Leo An in the title role, Nicole Haslett as Gilda, Scott Quinn as the Duke of Mantua, Peixin Chen (in his Lyric debut) as Sparafucile, and Zanda Svede as Maddalena.

Norma – Sarasota Opera 

With a  cast featuring Joanna Parisi, Jennifer Black, Camerona Schutza, and Young Bok Kim, Bellini’s masterwork gets an appearance at the Sarasota Opera. The Saturday performance of the opera is the first of a lengthy run by the company.

The Marriage of Figaro – Opera Tampa 

For just two nights (Friday and Sunday), Opera Tampa is showcasing the Mozart classic with a cast that includes Gabriel Preisser as Figaro, Claire Coolen as Susanna, Cecilia Lopez as Countess and Seun-Hyeon Baek as Count Almaviva.

Don Carlo – Washington National Opera

And we close things up with the big one. On Saturday evening, the WNO debuts a four-act production of “Don Carlo” starring Russell Thomas, Leah Crocetto, Jamie Barton, Quinn Kelsey, and Eric Owens. The starry cast is undeniably one of the most exciting of recent times and OperaWire will be covering the performance with a review to promptly follow.