Critic’s Choice

Wed Sep 28, 2011 at 12:09 am

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Jacques Offenbach

The Lyric Opera of Chicago kicks off its 57th season with Jacques Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann Saturday night. Matthew Polenzani stars as the romantic title poet with Anna Christy, Erin Wall and Alyson Cambridge as the three heroines and James Morris as the four villains. Hoffmann opens 6:30 p.m. Saturday and runs through Oct. 29.; 312-332-2244.


Music of the Baroque also launches its season with a first-ever venture into music of Beethoven. Jane Glover conducts the orchestra in the Coriolan Overture, Choral Fantasy and Symphony No. 1. Pianist Imogen Cooper makes a rare Chicago appearance as soloist in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor and the Choral Fantasy. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Sunday at First United Methodist Church in Evanston and 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Harris Theater.; 312-551-1414.

Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra mark the Liszt bicentennial year with the composer’s Faust Symphony and the Piano Concerto No. 1 with Michele Campanella as soloist. Performances are 8 p.m. Friday and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.; 312-294-3000.

The newly formed Chroma Chamber Orchestra presents its debut concert 4 p.m. Sunday at the Music Institute of Chicago. Conductor David Crane leads the ensemble in Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite, Vaughn Williams’ The Lark Ascending with CSO violinist Baird Dodge, and Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with soprano Elizabeth Futral.; 847-905-1500.

Finally, the Chicago Philharmonic launches its season with a Spanish program led by guest conductor Lucia Matos featuring Villa-Lobos’ Sinfonietta No. 1 and De Falla’s The Three-Cornered Hat with guitarist Fareed Haque as soloist in Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez and Villa-Lobos’ Guitar Concerto.; 847-866-6888.

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