Top 6 Operas To See This Weekend – North America (1/19-21): Jonas Kaufmann, Houston Grand Opera & Modern Works Take Centerstage

By David Salazar

As we go deeper into January, we see more and more opera companies returning to business. The Metropolitan Opera is still very much at the forefront of some of the richest opera experiences of the weekend, but this weekend we will turn to other exciting companies taking on projects with greater risk. The majority of this weekend’s list consists of modern works. Let’s dig in.

Jonas Kaufmann – Carnegie Hall

The world’s greatest tenor takes to the stage at the world’s most famous concert venue alongside pianist Helmut Deutsche. The two will perform Schubert’s “Die schöne Müllerin.” Kaufmann doesn’t appear in the States all that often, so any chance you get to see him is must-see material.

Elektra – Houston Grand Opera

This is about as “classical” as we get in terms of repertoire this weekend. And with the company announcing its new upcoming season, it is only fitting to celebrate its big production this weekend of the Strauss masterpiece. The opening night of this run stars Christine Goerke, Tamara Wilson, Michael Marten, Greer Grimsley, Chad Shelton, and Julie Makerov. Patrick Summers conducts.

The work appears this weekend on Friday and Sunday afternoon.

The Tragedy of Carmen – Opera Birmingham

On Friday and Sunday, Opera Birmingham presents the stripped-down and arranged version of Bizet’s masterpiece at the Red Mountain Theatre Cabaret. For more information on how Peter Brook alters the Bizet classic, click here. Opera Birmingham’s production stars Alissa Anderson, Brent Reilly Turner, Adelaide Boedecker, and Calvin Griffin.

Moby Dick – Utah Opera

Jake Heggie’s acclaimed opera gets its chance this Saturday in Utah. Roger Honeywell takes on the role of the obsessive Captain Ahab with Joshua Dennis, David Adam Moore, Musa Ngqungwana, Joseph Gaines, and Craig Irvin rounding out the cast. Kristine McIntyre directs while Joseph Mechavich conducts.

The Long Walk – Pittsburgh Opera

As its first production of 2018, the Pittsburgh Opera will showcase Jeremy Beck’s “The Long Walk” on Jan. 20 as the first of four performances. The opera will be presented at the Pittsburgh CAPA School Theater and stars Benjamin Taylor, Leah de Gruyl, Martin Bakari, and Eric Ferring, among others.

Harriet’s Spirit – Opera Parallèle

On Saturday, audiences can witness the final performance of Opera Parallèle’s production of “Harriet’s Spirit” at the Buriel Clay Theater. The opera stars Tiffany Austin as Harriet Tubman with Christabel Nunoo, and Torlef Borsting rounding out the cast.