Top 5 Operas To See This Weekend – North America (9/21-23)

Plácido Domingo, Anthony Roth Costanzo Lead Strong Series Of Performances

By David Salazar

Two of opera’s biggest companies kickstart their 2018-19 seasons with some tour-de-force showcases. The 2018-19 season is truly underway and these “five” choices for this weekend are can’t miss opportunities.

“The Magic Flute” – Kentucky Opera

On Friday and Sunday, the Kentucky Opera showcases Mozart’s mystical work that is always a delight for all ages. Joseph Mechavich leads a cast that includes Jamez McCorkle, Brandie Sutton, Sean Michael Plumb, and Jeni Houser, all in their Kentucky Opera debuts. Adam Lau returns to the company as Sarastro.

“Don Carlo” – LA Opera

On Saturday, the LA Opera kicks off its 2018-19 season with one of the greatest and most challenging operas ever written. More importantly, it features a stunning cast that includes Ramón Vargas in the title role, Ana María Martínez as Elisabeth de Valois, Anna Smirnova as Eboli, Ferruccio Furlanetto in his signature Filipo, and Plácido Domingo as Rodrigo. James Conlon leads the stunning cast in Ian Judge’s production.

“Daughter of the Regiment” – Opera in the Heights

On Friday and Sunday, audiences in Texas will get a chance to witness two of opera’s big show-stopping arias from soprano Lindsay Russell and tenor Spencer Viator. The Donizetti opera has grown in popularity over the years and will be featured at a number of major companies throughout the season. This is the first stop to hear nine high C’s in a row.

Festival O18 – Opera Philadelphia

This is cheating, we know. But honestly, Opera Philadelphia’s big season-opening festival is quite the opera event. It is easily one of the best overall opera experiences in the US, its first iteration simply wonderful. This year promises to top that with a plethora of major programs and performances ranging from the traditional to the experimental. It is actually hard to recommend just one production or performance with “Lucia di Lammermoor” featuring a stunning cast, “Ne Quittez Pas” re-contextualizing “La Voix Humaine,” and “Queens of the Night” giving us the great Stephanie Blythe. But if we had to pick just one, we’d go with “Glass Handel, which is already sold out and stars Anthony Roth Costanzo in what will be a visionary production. Performances for everything the festival has to offer run throughout the weekend.

“La Bohème” – Salt Marsh Opera

For just three days starting on Friday, Puccini’s venerated classic gets a showcase throughout Connecticut and Rhode Island.