Top 5 Operas to See This Weekend – North America (3/9-11): 3 Classics Coupled With 2 Modern Works Lead the Way

By David Salazar

For this week’s recommendations, we have two modern works coupled with three classic masterworks (or more like four with two in a double bill). Throw in a combination of small and big-name companies and this weekend’s recommendations run a wide and diverse gamut.

Un Ballo In Maschera – Livermore Valley Opera

First up on our list is the independent company’s showcase of the Verdi masterwork. It kicks off on March 10 with such artists as Christopher Bengochea, Sarah Cambidge, and Eugene Brancoveanu. Daniel Helfgot directs. It is always fascinating to see a major work performed on a smaller and more intimate scale with lesser-known companies.

Orpheus & Eurydice – LA Opera

Maxim Mironov, Lisette Oropesa, and Liv Redpath star in the production conducted by James Conlon and directed by John Neumeier. The first performance is on Saturday evening. The bottom line? This is a masterpiece that stars one of the greatest singers around in Oropesa. Throw in the Joffrey Ballet and this is a big win all around.

27 – Michigan Opera

Ricky Ian Gordon is making a name for himself as one of the great modern composers in the opera world. So any chance to see his work is a definite recommendation. “27” will appear for just two nights (March 10 and 11) at Michigan Opera and will be conducted by Roberto Kalb with Jeffrey Buchman directing.

Champion – New Orleans Opera

Another modern great, Terence Blanchard’s jazz opera set in the world of boxing is definitely of major interest. How often have you seen an opera with boxing? We bet that not many of you have, which is why those in New Orleans should take a peak on March 9 and 11.

Pagliacci / Gianni Schicchi – Utah Opera

Utah Opera presents work of high quality and this unique double bill, which showcases two verismo masterworks that focus on playacting, should be thrilling. Wayne Tigges stars in both works, creating his own version of a double bill often reserved for tenors, which should add to the unique qualities of the evening. It will premiere on Saturday night.