Critic’s Choice

Wed Sep 26, 2018 at 12:18 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Photo: Haymarket Opera

All the excellent productions that the Haymarket Opera Company has presented over its first seven seasons have led up to this weekend.

Chicago’s upstart Baroque opera company will open its eighth season by tackling its greatest challenge yet—Haymarket’s first full-length Handel opera, Serse, which will open Saturday night.

A flop at its premiere, largely due to to its then-unusual mix of drama and comedy, Serse gradually rebounded and is now regarded as one of Handel’s finest stage works. The score abounds with typical Handelian melody not least the title character’s entrance aria, “Ombra mai fu.”

Suzanne Lommler makes her Haymarket debut as the amorous Persian king, with Megan Moore, Angela Young Smucker and Katelyn Lee among the supporting cast.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. October 2 at the Studebaker Theater, 410 S. Michigan.

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