WEEKEND RECOMMENDATIONS: If you love Early Music, the next three days are a feast. The major event you will get three chances to catch is The Newberry Consort's All-Female Band in the re-constructed Juan de Lienas Vespers from Mexico. Saturday and Sunday you can hear a FREE performance of CCPA Graduate Opera: Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppaea in the still-being-renovated-but-ready-for-action Studebaker Theater at the Fine Arts Building. And on Sunday - a rare chance to hear The Choir of Royal Holloway in Concert at St. James Cathedral Chicago. Musical offerings have always been of high quality at St. James and their current musical director's programming is raising the bar by inviting this choir from University of London whose alumni have gone on to careers singing at ENO (like Dame Felicity Lott) or with groups like Tallis Scholars and The Sixteen.
The Saturday cast for Poppea features countertenor Ee Ming Chua as Nero and Icelandic soprano Valdis Gregory who were both recently heard at Liederstube- which reminds me that TONIGHT is April Lieder jamming at the Liederstube. If you are a fan of art song, this is one of the most intimate places in Chicago to hear it - also in the Fine Arts Building. So, perhaps an ideal recipe for the weekend would be to attend Liederstube in advance of the Newberry Consort on Friday, watch Poppea on Saturday, then round out the weekend with Royal Holloway on Sunday.