The Cleveland Orchestra Does Verdi’s Otello and the Rest of the Classical Music to Catch This Weekend

Photo by Roger Mastroianni, Courtesy of The Cleveland Orchestra

There’s a rich mix of musical offerings this week — Medieval, Opera, Art Song — as well as chamber and orchestral performances and a couple of premieres.

- The Art Song Festival is in full swing this week, featuring an array of educational offerings and performances centered around master classes where ten singer-pianist teams are coached by professionals. All activities take place at Mixon Hall at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Although most are free, registration is required. Here’s a quick rundown.

- On Wednesday May 25 at 1:00 pm pianist Warren Jones will lead a Panel Discussion titled “Let’s Talk About Collaboration!” On Friday, May 27 at 10:30 am, soprano Tamara Wilson and pianist Warren Jones coach teams, and at 8:00 pm that evening tenor David Portillo and pianist Craig Terry will present a Festival recital — Click here to view or download their detailed program. And on Saturday the 28th at 7:00 pm the Festival concludes with the Teams Recital, participants and program to be announced. Attending a master class is a great way to gain a better understanding of any art form, and the Festival offers plenty of insight into the special world of the Art Song. Click here for more information.

- The Cleveland Orchestra wraps up their Severance season this week. On Thursday May 26 at 7:30 pm and Sunday May 29 at 3:00 pm, Franz Welser-Möst leads an all-star cast in a semi-staged production of Verdi’s Otello, headed up by Oberlin grad Limmie Pulliam, tenor (Otello), and Tamara Wilson, soprano (Desdemona). Tickets available online.

- In between those performances Welser-Möst and Orchestra will present two programs in a mini-festival they’re calling “Breaking Convention.” On Friday at 7:30 the program includes Jüri Reinvere’s Norilsk (The Daffodils), George Walker’s Lilacs with soprano Latonia Moore, and Sofia Gubaidulina’s Light of the End. On Saturday at 8:00 pm the second concert will feature Latvian organist Iveta Apkalna in music by Ives, Shostakovich, Gubaidulina, Glass, Walker, and Barber. Tickets available online.

- If you’re looking for something on the west side of town, on Wednesday May 25 at 7:30 pm in Finney Chapel, Ben Johns will lead the Oberlin Chamber Singers & Chamber Orchestra in J.S. Bach’s cantatas BWV 4, Christ lag in Todes Banden, & BWV 140, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme. The concert is free. On Friday, May 27 at 3:00 pm & 7:00 pm in Finney Chapel, Christopher Mirto & Jonathon Field direct Oberlin Conservatory singers in classic scenes from beloved operas. This too is free.

- Heading into next week, on Monday, May 30 at 2:00 pm, tune in for the weekly, two-hour radio broadcast Not Your Grandmother’s Classical Music with host Eric Charnofsky from Case Western Reserve University. Click here to listen to the WRUW internet feed.

- And on May 31, Tuesday Noon at the Covenant will feature organist Katherine Johnson playing both organs at the Church of the Covenant, 11205 Euclid Ave, in University Circle. Offered free, both in-person and online. Click here for link.

More concerts can be found on the Concert Listings page.
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