Critic’s Choice

Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 10:22 am

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Handel’s early cantata, “Clori, Tirsi e Fileno” will open the Haymarket Opera Company’s second season Friday night at Mayne Stage.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra doesn’t open for three weeks and the Lyric Opera is dark until October. But the 2012-13 music season will effectively kick off this weekend in Rogers Park with the Haymarket Opera Company’s production of Handel’s Clori, Tirsi e Fileno. Written at age 22, Handel’s rarely performed pastoral cantata relates the tale of two shepherds vying for the hand of a comely shepherdess. Long lost and largely forgotten today, Handel’s early comedy provided material for several of the composer’s later acclaimed stage works. The cast includes Alison Wahl, Josefien Stoppelenburg, and Angela Young Smucker and performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday and 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse.; 773-381-4554.

Also, the envelope-pushing Spektral Quartet will open its first full season in Chicago Wednesday at The Empty Bottle. The packed program will include excerpts of quartets by Haydn, Mozart and Verdi as well as three world premieres by Chicago composers: Daniel R. Dehaan’s Sterile Contaminant, Jenna Lyle’s Inkblot and Chris Fisher-Lochhead’s I Never Learnt to Share. Concert time is 7 p.m. at The Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western.

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