Top 5 Operas To See This Weekend – North America (3/29-31)

Joyce DiDonato Leads Superstar Cast While Opera Parallèle Showcases World Premiere

By David Salazar

This weekend’s selections run the gamut from a world premiere, the return of a famed but rarely performed opera (at least in the States), a superstar cast in a Mozart opera, and two other works by prominent composers. Here is a rundown of our top five selections of the weekend (in alphabetical order by company). 

L’Incoronazione di Poppea – Florentine Opera

For just two more performances (Saturday and Sunday), audiences will get a chance to see Monteverdi’s masterwork with a cast headlined by Amanda Crider. The opera, which also features Karim Sulayman, Katherine Pracht, and Nicholas Tammagna, among others, is not often performed in the States, so any chance to see it is one that must be taken. 

La Clemenza di Tito – Met Opera

The Met is pulling all the stops to showcase a superstar cast in “La Clemenza di Tito.” Once you get beyond the fact that Matthew Polenzani and Joyce DiDonato are going head to head as Tito and Sesto, respectively, you have to look at Elza Van Den Heever as Vitellia (she was incredible as Elettra in “Idomeneo”), rising stars Ying Fang, Emily D’Angelo, and recent Richard Tucker Award winner Christian Van Horn. It doesn’t get much better than this. The opening performance is on Saturday. 

Today it Rains – Opera Parallèle

This opera has been one of the most hotly anticipated new operas of the year. Written by composer Laura Kaminsky and librettists Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed, this is the follow up to their hugely popular “As One,” but centering on the life of famed painter Georgia O’Keefe. This alone makes this an exciting proposition. The performances will run throughout the weekend.

Lohengrin – Opera Southwest

While Wagner does get continuous performances in the U.S., “Lohengrin” isn’t a work that often gets programming. New Mexico has never seen the opera and it will only get three performances, starting with Sunday’s matinee. It’s an opera that has to be experienced first-hand, something which American audiences don’t get many chances to do in recent decades.  

The Two Widows – Pocket Opera

On Sunday, the Pocket Opera will put on one final performance of Smetana’s rare work at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. Cast members include Lindsay Roush, Jaime Korkos, Justin Brunette, and Larry Venza, among others.