Top 6 Operas To See This Weekend – North America (9/28-30)

Anna Netrebko, Elina Garanca, Joyce El-Khoury, Catalina Cuervo Are Must-See Performers

By David Salazar

The opera season is up and running. Don’t believe me? Well just take a look at the over one-dozen companies that are putting on productions this weekend. Here are our major picks for this busy weekend, which marries new works with classic repertoire (in alphabetical order by company).

Maria de Buenos Aires – Arizona Opera

Piazzolla’s opera has arguably never been more popular in the U.S. and it is getting a new showcase in Arizona for two weekends. This first weekend will feature the opera performed across three days in Phoenix with Catalina Cuervo, the title role’s foremost interpreter leading the cast. Her interpretation has been hailed and is undeniably the reason to check out the work.

Charlie Parker’s Yardbird – Atlanta Opera

The opera is getting an all-new orchestration for this production, which should be reason enough to head over to Atlanta Opera on Friday and Saturday night.

Eugene Onegin – Canadian Opera Company

Robert Carsen’s production of Tchaikovsky’s quintessential work is still one of the best of modern times and is alone worth the price of admission (it’s making its debut at the Canadian Opera Company). But then you can’t overlook the star wattage of Joyce El-Khoury and Joseph Kaiser as Tatiana and Lensky, respectively. Throw in baritone Gordon Binter in the title role and this is undeniably an opera to check out on Sunday afternoon for its opening night.

Aida & Samson et Dalila – Metropolitan Opera

It was tough to choose between the Met’s two big opera productions this weekend. On one hand, you have a chance to hear Anna Netrebko sing just her second-ever run of Verdi’s heroine in a lavish production with a solid cast that also includes Anita Rachvelishvilli, Quinn Kelsey, and Aleksandrs Antonenko. And on other the hand, you have Roberto Alagna and Elina Garanca taking on a new production of “Samson et Dalila.” Either way, you can’t really lose. All of these artists are fantastic singing actors.

Street Scene – Virginia Opera

Kurt Weill’s works are always of major interest whenever they get produced. Virginia Opera is taking on the challenge of “Street Scene” with Maureen McKay, David Blalock, Jill Gardner, and Zachary James starring. Adam Turner conducts a production by Dorothy Danner. The production kicks off on Friday and Sunday in Norfolk.