Coming Up on World of Opera

GIOACHINO ROSSINI: Aureliano in Palmira

Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro

Week of 1/24/15

G. Rossini Symphony Orchestra
Chorus of the Teatro Comunale, Bologna
Will Crutchfield, conductor

CAST: Jessica Pratt (Zenobia); Lena Belkina (Arsace); Michael Spyres (Aureliano); Raffaella Lupinacci (Publia); Dempsey C'Rivera (Oraspe); Dimitri Pkhaladze (Gran sacerdote); Sergio Vitale (Licinio)

This story of romantic intrigue among warring leaders of the ancient world is rarely heard in modern opera houses, though it is home to some of Rossini's best-known music: Its rousing overture was later recycled to kick off his comedy, The Barber of Seville.

JULES MASSENET: ClÈop‚tre

Champs-ElysÈes Theatre, Paris

Week of 1/31/15

Paris Opera Chorus
Mulhouse Symphony Orchestra

CAST: Sophie Koch (ClÈop‚tre); FrÈdÈric Goncalves (Marc-Antoine); Cassandre Berthon (Octavie); Benjamin Bernheim (Spakos); Jean-Gabriel Saint Martin (Severus); Olivia Doray (Charmion); Pierre-Yves Binard (Ennius)

Not performed until two years after the composer's death, Massenet's final opera tells the powerful story of one of the ancient world's most intriguing historical figures, and her ill-fated romance with Rome's Mark Antony.