With the flurry of recent activity winding down, this weekend's recommendations come into clear focus. If you attend one thing - it must be Haymarket Opera's La Calisto. Cavalli is enjoying a resurgence as more and more opera companies begin to recognize the dramatic genius of this mid-17th century Venetian composer, and invest in the continuo players that make this music come alive. Haymarket has gained a reputation for meticulously preparing historically-informed stagings of baroque opera, lavishing great detail on all aspects - the vocalism, the stage beauty, the musical rhetoric, and the one most obvious to the audience - THE COSTUMES by Meriem Bahri. The opera Calisto, to satisfy the tastes of the Venetian audiences, must be at times noble, plaintive and romantic, while also being titillating, risqué, and sometimes downright raunchy. There really is something for everyone in this show - and now more people can witness it with their move to the spacious and historic Athenaeum Theatre on Friday and Sunday.
In Evanston, Bach Week Festival concludes with the deluxe-sized cantata 21 "Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis" headlined by the gorgeous soprano Rosalind Lee with tenor William Watson and Ryan Center alum, bass Will Liverman conducted by Julia Davids. If you want to hear Bach performed robustly and stylishly by some the city's best, you can hardly do better than Bach Week Festival.
And a young composer is making his mark on the choral scene in Chicago. Ed Frazier Davis, who also happens to be a formidable baritone, is having yet another work premiered this weekend. Mr. Davis's ten-part "To an Early Daffodil" enjoys the company of Benjamin Britten's Five Flower Songs and Eric Whitacre's Three Flower Songs in the conclusion of Chicago Choral Artists 40th Anniversary Season "I Got Me Flowers" Saturday in Andersonville and Sunday in River Forest.