CAIC • Susannah

The weekend offers a fine sampling of mini-opera, one Big University opera, and an exciting recital.

The Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago has replaced the major institutions in presenting today's marquee singers in an art song program.  Recent vocal artists presented by CAIC have included Paul Appleby, Jesse Blumberg, David Daniels, Michelle DeYoung, and Luca Pisaroni - not to mention great pianists like Martin Katz and Kevin Murphy.  Their season concludes with a preview of Melody Moore's forthcoming Carnegie Hall recital with pianist and CAIC co-founder Shannon McGinnis.

In opera, you can check out the second weekend of the recently praised by John von Rhein  Chicago Fringe Opera's In the Penal Colony - but be prepared for an intense and immersive experience.  There is also a new kid on the block - New Moon Opera Company which presents Hansel and Gretel with piano accompaniment at the Next Door Theater in Ravenswood. /kor/ Productions completes its run of the Marriage of Figaro, also with piano at a cafe in Roger's Park.  

If you want the full orchestra, detailed costumes, and the swooping melodies of one of the greatest living composers, Northwestern University Bienen School of Music is offering Carlisle Floyd's American masterpiece Susannah.  Michael Ehrman, who introduced Chicago audiences to a heart- breaking Dead Man Walking last season, directs the very talented roster of voice students at Northwestern.