Opera Everywhere

Starting Thursday you can see three of Chicago's chamber opera companies expand their reach around the city.  Chicago Summer Opera, a young artist program now in its fourth season, offers two performances of Hansel and Gretel at the Skokie Theater performed with orchestra conducted by Codrut Birsan. The production is directed by George Cederquist who recently received praise from the Chicago Tribune for his work on Chicago Fringe Opera's In the Penal Colony.  Chicago Folks Operetta continues its run of a rare gem from 1921 Berlin The Cousin from Nowhere conducted by Anthony Barrese and directed by Elizabeth Margolius.  Maestro Barrese is a formidable conductor and scholar who serves as  artistic director of the flourishing company Opera Southwest in New Mexico.  The Folks Operetta is also offering a historically and socially important multi-media show "Operetta in Exile" at Stage 773 in Lakeview.  Finally,  Main Street Opera continues its run of Menotti's The Consul.  Sunday's performance is in Bartlett featuring two outstanding leads in baby-dramatic soprano Jessie Oliver, a graduate of Chicago Academy of the Arts, and mezzo-soprano Julia Hardin, an alumna of Florentine Opera's Studio Artist program and a founding member of Chicago Fringe Opera.