Top 5 Operas to See This Weekend – USA (11/17-19): Marina Rebeka, Ailyn Pérez, ‘As One’ & World Premiere Among Must-Sees

By David Salazar

It’s a busy weekend in North America with close to 70 performances taking place all over the continent.

With so much activity from such major companies, pinning down just a handful to recommend to the operagoer was a rather challenging task. But here is a look at five performances to see this weekend around the States and Canada.

As One – Des Moines Metro Opera

The Laura Kaminsky opera, which was written by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed, has had a big year and now it is headed to one of the most exciting opera companies around – Des Moines Metro Opera. The show runs throughout the entire weekend with performances on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It stars John Moore and Elise Quagliata in the role of Hanna (before and after, respectively).

La Straniera – Washington Concert Opera

For just one night, the Washington Concert Opera will put on a performance of the rare Bellini opera. This is a bel canto treat to be sure, and an opera that rarely gets a performance on any major concert or opera stage. Throw in the star-studded cast led by Amanda Woodbury, and you simply can’t miss a night of beautiful singing of gorgeous melodies. The performance takes place on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017.

The Pearl Fishers – Lyric Opera of Chicago

Speaking of beautiful singing to gorgeous melodies and massive casts, it really doesn’t get better than the new production of the Bizet gem. Marina Rebeka, Matthew Polenzani, and Mariusz Kwiecien join forces for a production that is sure to please all around at one of the great stages there is. The production kicks off on Sunday, Nov. 19. Sir Andrew Davis conducts.

Missing – Pacific Opera Victoria

Those north of the border can get a chance to check out a new Canadian Opera, “Missing,” by Brian Current. World Premieres are always can’t miss events, simply because there is nothing more exciting than potentially witnessing the birth of a modern masterpiece. The first showcase for “Missing” takes place on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017.

Thaïs – Metropolitan Opera

The only production on this list not kicking off its run, it is impossible not to recommend Massenet’s masterpiece as portrayed by US’ biggest opera company. Per OperaWire’s own review, written by yours truly, “The voices must be heard. The orchestra must be heard. The experience must be felt. All those also work for this remarkable production that featured some of the finest casting of any Met production in recent history alongside a conductor suited perfectly for Massenet’s music.” Led by Ailyn Pérez and Gerald Finley, this is a showcase that simply can’t be missed.

Honorable mentions

Regina Opera showcases “La Traviata,” as does Indianapolis Opera. Opera Las Vegas also provides a rare glimpse at Britten’s “Noye’s Fludde.”