Critic’s Choice

Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 12:41 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

"Magic Flute" by Marc Chagall, 1967.

It may be the start of the fall music season, but Chicago Opera Theater’s production of The Magic Flute, which opens Saturday night, presents a coda on two counts. These performances of Mozart’s musical fantasy will close COT’s 2012 season as well as mark the final event planned under Brian Dickie, who ended his 13-year tenure as the company’s general director last May.

Presented in English and with a new production, COT’s Magic Flute will offer a young cast of singers largely new to Chicago audiences, including Sean Panikkar as Tamino, Elizabeth Reiter as Pamina, Markus Beam as Papageno and Emily Hindrichs as the Queen of the Night, with Steuart Bedford conducting. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Saturday, September 19 and 21, and 3 p.m. September 23. chicagooperatheater.org.

And the Beethoven Festival continues rolling over. Now at the halfway mark, George Lepauw’s alarmingly ambitious 60-event extravaganza still offers a bewildering number of performances  in line with the theme of “Revolution” in music. Charles Rosen cancelled this evening’s planned recital but you can still catch Rachel Kolly D’Alba playing Ysaye’s 6 Solo Violin Sonatas tonight at 8 p.m. On Thursday pianist Soheil Nasseri plays Michael Hersch’s The Vanishing Pavilions along with works of Beethoven at 4:30 p.m. At 6 p.m. the much-touted HJ Lim makes her Chicago debut, performing a chamber version of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12 with the Spektral Quartet. All performances are at the National Pastime Theater in Uptown, 941 W. Lawrence. The Beethoven Festival runs through Sunday. lvbfest.com.

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One Response to “Critic’s Choice”

  1. Posted Sep 12, 2012 at 6:33 pm by Michael Scott

    I realize you’re not the PR agent for the Festival, so allow me to say that in addition to Mr. Nasseri and Ms. Lim, Inna Faliks and James Rhodes are equally worthy of mention. I keep thinking there just cannot be any more spectacular pianists on the horizon, but these four are really worth hearing.

    Can’t wait to see and hear them all…especially James Rhodes!!!