Critic’s Choice

Thu Sep 29, 2016 at 10:05 am

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Joyce DiDonato
Joyce DiDonato

How to choose a top pick in a week when a major American singer makes her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and both opera companies kick off their seasons with highly anticipated productions?

Joyce DiDonato will make her belated CSO bow tonight, with Riccardo Muti on the podium. The acclaimed mezzo-soprano will perform Giuseppe Martucci’s song-cycle, La canzone dei ricordi, on a program that also includes Catalani’s Contemplazione and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. Performances are 8 p.m. Thursday, 1:30 p.m. Friday, and 8 p.m. Saturday.; 312-294-3000.

The Lyric Opera of Chicago opens its season with the launch of a new Ring cycle 6 p.m. Saturday with Wagner’s Das Rheingold. Eric Owens makes his stage role debut as Wotan in a new production with Sir Andrew Davis conducting.

Chicago Opera Theater will begin its most ambitious season in years with Frank Martin’s Le vin herbe (“The Magic Potion”) 7:30 p.m. Friday night at the Music Box Theatre. The staged oratorio will be repeated 3 p.m. Saturday and October 9.

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