Opera and Classical Music Listings for March 15-21

March 15th, 2013

Full reviews of recent classical performances: A searchable guide to these and other performances is at

Opera

‘Don Carlo’ (Saturday) Offering a deep portrayal of the pursuit of power as a corrupting force, the bass Ferruccio Furlanetto, as King Philip II, is the best part of this middling revival of Nicholas Hytner’s production of Verdi’s dark masterpiece. (This is the final performance this season.) The venerable conductor Lorin Maazel leads a dull, droopy performance of a score that should surge. The soprano Barbara Frittoli, as the unwilling queen Elisabetta, is underpowered and bland, and while the mezzo-soprano Anna Smirnova has more gusto as the tortured Princess Eboli, she turns shrill at full cry. The men fare better, not just Mr. Furlanetto but also the tenor Ramón Vargas, an earnest Carlo, and the baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, insinuating as the ambiguously loyal Rodrigo. But they cannot save a long, mild-mannered show. At 7:30 p.m., Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center, (212) 362-6000, metoperafamily.org; $ 20 to $ 440. (Zachary Woolfe)

‘Eliogabalo’ (Friday, Tuesday and Thursday; through March 29) Francesco Cavalli’s last opera, written in 1667, is a flamboyant and politically cynical portrait of one of Rome’s most debauched emperors, Heliogabalus. Gotham Chamber Opera brings it to life in a glam-rock production inside the Box, one of New York’s most decadent nightclubs. The cast includes Christopher Ainslie, Micaëla Oeste, Emily Righter and Susannah Biller. Grant Herreid conducts. At 8 p.m., the Box, 189 Chrystie Street, Lower East Side, (212) 868-4460, gothamchamberopera.org; $ 50 to $ 175. (Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim)

‘Faust’ (Thursday) There are striking images, including video close-ups of characters, in the Tony Award-winning director Des McAnuff’s production of Gounod’s “Faust,” introduced in 2011. But this dark, oppressive staging, which intriguingly updates the setting to the period before World War II, struggles to uncover philosophical angst that is not to be found in Gounod’s melodious melodrama. For this revival the cast looks promising, with the tenor Piotr Beczala, fresh from his success in the Met’s new “Rigoletto,” as Faust; the soprano Marina Poplavskaya as Marguerite; and the bass-baritone John Relyea as Méphistophélès. Alain Altinoglu conducts. At 7:30 p.m., Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, (212) 363-6000, metopera.org; $ 20 to $ 430. (Anthony Tommasini)

‘Francesca da Rimini’ (Saturday and Tuesday) Riccardo Zandonai’s melodrama, based on an episode from Dante’s “Inferno,” which in turn inspired a play by Gabriele d’Annunzio, makes a rare return to the Met in Piero Faggioni’s painterly 1984 production. Eva-Maria Westbroek and Marcello Giordani are the star-crossed lovers. They are joined by Robert Brubaker, as the jealous rival, and Mark Delavan, as the deformed husband. Marco Armiliato conducts. The Saturday performance will be an HD broadcast to international movie theaters. Saturday at noon, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, (212) 362-6000, metoperafamily.org; $ 20 to $ 450. (da Fonseca-Wollheim)

★ ‘María de Buenos Aires’ (Friday and Sunday) Astor Piazzolla’s intimate, surreal 1968 tango opera has gotten deserved attention in recent years. It returns as the highlight of a monthlong festival presented by Opera Hispánica and conducted by the group’s new artistic director, Jorge Parodi. The director is Beth Greenberg; the choreographer, just as important in this work, is Daniel Fetecua. At 7:30 p.m., Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, near Thompson Street, Greenwich Village, (212) 505-3474, lepoissonrouge.com; $ 15 remaining. (Woolfe)

★ ‘Otello’ (Friday and Wednesday) The director Elijah Moshinsky’s striking production, which came back to the Met in October, has returned with a new cast and conductor. The tenor José Cura, who has made Otello his signature role, brings his portrayal to the Met for the first time. He gives a wild, volatile and compelling, if vocally unruly, performance. The soprano Krassimira Stoyanova is a throbbing, plush and emotional Desdemona. The baritone Thomas Hampson is Iago, a role that ideally suits this distinguished artist. This is Iago as a smooth operator. The fine French conductor Alain Altinoglu holds this Verdi work together in an exciting performance, though reining in Mr. Cura is impossible. At 7:30 p.m., Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, (212) 362-6000, metoperafamily.org; $ 20 to $ 440. (Tommasini)

‘The Reformed Drunkard’ (Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday; through March 24) The aptly named Little Opera Theater has won attention for inventive productions of small-scaled works. Its next offering is a Gluck rarity, a comedy, performed in an English translation. The story centers on a drunkard who arranges the marriage of his niece, who loves someone else. An illusory trip to the underworld somehow resolves the marital confusion. Richard Owen conducts. The production is directed by Philip Shneidman. Saturday at 8:15 p.m., Sunday at 3:15 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday at 7:15 p.m., 59E59 Theaters, 59 East 59 Street, Manhattan, (212) 753-5959, 59e59.org; $ 35, $ 24.50 for 59E59 members. (Tommasini)

★ ‘La Traviata’ (Monday) It is a distinguished group that will try to fill the chillingly empty space in Willy Decker’s spare, vivid production of this Verdi classic. The charismatic Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts a cast that includes Diana Damrau, making her debut in the role of Violetta, and Plácido Domingo, continuing his exploration of the baritone repertory as the implacable Giorgio Germont. Germont’s son, the lovesick Alfredo, is the tenor Saimir Pirgu. At 7:30 p.m., Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, (212) 362-6000, metoperafamily.org; $ 20 to $ 480. (Woolfe)

★ ‘Der Vampyr’ (Sunday) Part of an early-19th-century craze for things vampiric, Heinrich Marschner’s lush, tuneful, effective 1827 opera has received periodic revivals but has never quite entered the repertory. That makes it a prime target for Leon Botstein, whose advocacy for the underrated knows few bounds. He and the American Symphony Orchestra bring it to Carnegie with a talented, youthful cast and the Collegiate Chorale Singers. At 2 p.m., Isaac Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall, (212) 247-7800, carnegiehall.org; $ 25 to $ 50. (Woolfe)

Classical Music

Bargemusic (Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Thursday) There’s an appealing lineup this weekend at the Barge, the intimate floating concert hall. On Friday the pianist Pedja Muzijevic offers a program including Chopin’s 24 Preludes (Op. 28) and works by Haydn and Franck. On Saturday the guitarist Luigi Attademo plays a wide-ranging program including Turina, Scarlatti, Britten, Takemitsu, Gershwin and de Falla. On Sunday, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, the folk musician Ashley Davis is joined by the Irish harp player Cormac De Barra for a program of Irish songs and stories. On Thursday and next Friday, as part of the Here and Now series, Bargemusic presents a concert version of Julia Adolphe’s one-act opera “Sylvia.” Friday, Saturday and Thursday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m., Bargemusic, Fulton Ferry Landing, next to the Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn, (718) 624-4924, bargemusic.org; $ 35, $ 30 for 65+ and $ 15 for students; $ 25, $ 20 for 65+ and $ 15 for students on Sunday. (Vivien Schweitzer)

★ Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (Sunday and Tuesday) The stellar Jerusalem Quartet opens its cycle of the complete Shostakovich string quartets, presenting the first two installments next week. The 15 works are intimate, autobiographical self-portraits that also serve as statements about the censorship and the difficulties of life in the Soviet Union. The Jerusalem musicians, well versed in this music, will doubtlessly give vivid accounts of the searing, impassioned, anxious and melancholy elements. (The cycle concludes with performances next Friday and March 24.) Sunday at 5 p.m., Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, chambermusicsociety.org, (212) 875-5788; sold out. (Schweitzer)

Early Music New York (Saturday) Madrigals, motets and instrumental canzonas by Monteverdi and his Neapolitan and Spanish contemporaries are the focus of this concert, which makes colorful use of Early Music’s mixed-voice ensemble, strings and trombonists from the Dark Horse Consort. At 8 p.m., First Church of Christ, Scientist, Central Park West, at 68th Street, (212) 280-0330, earlymusicny.org; $ 40; student rush, $ 20. (da Fonseca-Wollheim)

East Coast Chamber Orchestra (Saturday) This spirited young conductorless ensemble offers a program of Mozart, Britten, Purcell and Bartok as part of the high quality and wallet-friendly People’s Symphony Orchestra series. At 8 p.m., High School of Fashion Industries, 225 West 24th Street, Chelsea, (212) 586-4680, pscny.org; $ 13. (Schweitzer)

Ensemble ACJW (Tuesday) When Messiaen first traveled to Utah and visited Bryce Canyon he declared it to be the most mystical landscape he had ever encountered. A sense of wonder and awe informs his resulting composition, “Des Canyons aux Étoiles,” which will be performed by members of the Carnegie Hall and Juilliard School’s Academy. At 6 p.m., Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall, (212) 247-7800, carnegiehall.org; $ 40 and $ 50. (da Fonseca-Wollheim)

‘Planetarium’ (Thursday) Brass are from Mars, strings are from Venus? New musical constellations form in an evening of music inspired by the solar system by the singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens; the composer Nico Muhly; and Bryce Dessner, guitarist of the rock band the National. Thursday through March 23 at 8 p.m., March 24 at 7 p.m., Howard Gilman Opera House, Brooklyn Academy of Music, 30 Lafayette Avenue, at Ashland Place, Fort Greene, Brooklyn, (718) 636-4100, bam.org; $ 25 to $ 65. (da Fonseca-Wollheim)

‘St. Matthew Passion’ (Thursday) John Scott leads the reliably excellent Saint Thomas Choir and the period instrument orchestra Concert Royal in a performance of Bach’s dramatic “St. Matthew Passion.” The strong lineup of soloists includes Rufus Müller as the Evangelist and the soprano Sherezade Panthaki. At 7:30 p.m., Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue at 53rd Street, (212) 664-9360, saintthomaschurch.org/music/concerts; $ 45 to $ 95; $ 35 for students and 65+. (Schweitzer)

★ San Francisco Symphony (Wednesday and Thursday) Visits to Carnegie Hall by the San Francisco Symphony and its dynamic music director, Michael Tilson Thomas, are usually exciting and always popular. The two programs Mr. Thomas and his players are bringing this time are typically adventurous. On Wednesday he conducts the New York premiere of “Drift and Providence” by Samuel Carl Adams (whose father is John Adams); Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto with the brilliant pianist Yuja Wang; and Brahms’s First Symphony. Thursday’s program is devoted to Mahler’s Ninth Symphony. Mr. Thomas has turned the San Francisco Symphony into a major Mahler orchestra. At 8 p.m., Isaac Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall, (212) 247-7800, carnegiehall.org; $ 18.50 to $ 112. (Tommasini)

String Quartet Masterworks (Friday) Three promising young string quartets — the Attacca, Linden and Spruce ensembles — perform works by Bartok, Haydn and Beethoven, showcasing the results of their recent workshop with the eminent Takács Quartet. At 7:30 p.m., Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall, (212) 247-7800, carnegiehall.org; limited availability. (Schweitzer)

Takacs Quartet (Wednesday) The quartet known for its high-intensity performances promises to raise the temperature in a program that encompasses the genial warmth of Haydn and the concentrated power of Brahms. Garrick Ohlsson joins in for Brahms’s high-octane piano quintet. At 7:30 p.m., Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, (212) 721-6500, lcgreatperformers.org; $ 45 to $ 77. (da Fonseca-Wollheim)

★ TENEbrae (Sunday) This six-week musical observance of the Lenten period, presented by the vocal ensemble Tenet and Trinity Church, turns to selections from Charpentier’s elegant settings of the “Leçons de Ténèbres pour Vendredi,” drawn from the “Lamentations of Jeremiah.” The “lessons” will be interspersed with organ music by Nicolas de Grigny, performed by the gifted Avi Stein. At 5 p.m., Trinity Church, Broadway at Wall Street, Lower Manhattan, (212) 602-0800, ; $ 25. (Woolfe)

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