Critic’s Choice

Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 1:55 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Piazzolla’s “Maria de Buenos Aires” opens Saturday night at Chicago Opera Theater.

The new Andreas Mitisek era of Chicago Opera Theater continues with Astor Piazzolla’s Maria de Buenos Aires, which opens Saturday night at the Harris Theater.

No quant evening of tango music here. Mitisek’s updated, politically charged production, which debuted at Long Beach Opera in 2012, transports the action to the late 1970s and the time of the “dirty war” in Argentina, when scores of citizens disappeared. The cast includes Peabody Southwell as Maria, with Gregorio Gonzalez, Gregorio Lake, and Mark Bringelson with Mitisek a triple-threat in this staging as designer, director and conductor of the nine-piece ensemble. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 24 and 26 and 3 p.m. April 28.; 312-704-8414.

The Bach Week Festival will mark its 40th anniversary with an opening program 7:30 p.m. Friday at Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston. Pianist Sergei Babayan will perform two Bach keyboard concertos (BWV 1052 and 1056) and Richard Webster will lead soloists and the festival orchestra and chorus in the cantata, Himmelskoening, sei willkommen, BWV 182. Also harpsichordist Jason Moy will present a Candlelight Concert at 10 p.m.

The Bach Week Festival will continue with Babayan performing the Goldberg Variations Sunday afternoon and a closing concert May 5 including the Magnificat and CSO members Christopher Martin and Katinka Kleijn in the Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 and Cello Suite No. 3, respectively.; 847-293-6686.

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