Cleveland POPS Does James Bond and Five More Classical Events to Hit This Week

Here’s a mixed bag of classical music events to explore this week: operas, quasi-operas, chamber music, transcriptions, and music for agent 007.

Beginning on Wednesday, November 9 at 7:30 pm, CIM Opera Theatre will launch its fall production, a double bill of two one-act shows, Giacomo Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amelia Goes to the Ball. The first recounts the tragic tale of a young girl who is sent to the convent for disgracing her family after giving birth to an illegitimate son. The second features a wealthy socialite who will stop at nothing in order to attend the ball. David Bamberger directs, and Harry Davidson conducts the CIM Orchestra. There will be four performances in Kulas Hall at CIM in University Circle — additional shows are on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, November 10, 11, and 12, all at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available online.

Is it a musical, or is it an opera? Either way, Leonard Bernstein’s and Stephen Sondheim’s West Side Story is one of the highlights of American musical theater. Baldwin Wallace puts on ten double-cast performances at the Kleist Center in Berea beginning on Wednesday, November 9 at 7:30 pm. Victoria Bussert directs, music direction is by David Pepin and Brendan Caldwell, and Greg Daniels is in charge of choreographing the Sharks’ and the Jets’ cool moves.

The St. Lawrence String Quartet, originally formed in Canada and now in residence at Stanford University, will play the next concert on Oberlin’s Artist Recital Series in Finney Chapel on Friday, November 11 at 8:00 pm. Violinists Geoff Nuttall and Owen Dalby, violist Lesley Robertson, and cellist Christopher Costanza have scheduled some of their specialties: Joseph Haydn’s Quartet in f, Op. 20, No. 5, John Adams’s Second String Quartet, and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Quartet in a, Op. 132. The Adams will be a special treat: the composer wrote all three of his works for string quartet in close collaboration with the St. Lawrence. Tickets here.

Two events will feature transcriptions of Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition — one for classical guitar, and one for organ. On Saturday, November 12 at 7:30 pm, Peruvian guitarist Jorge Caballero will take on Kazuhito Yamashita’s arrangement of Pictures as part of the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society’s International Series at Plymouth Church, 2860 Coventry Rd. in Shaker Heights. Caballero’s ambitious program also includes sonatas by J.S. Bach and Alban Berg. Tickets can be ordered online.

And on Sunday, November 13 at 2:00 pm in Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art, French organist Jean-Baptiste Monnot, of the Church of St. Ouen in Rouen, will make his Cleveland debut in a program called “Russian Fireworks.” The free concert will feature Jean Guillou’s transcriptions of Pictures, Sergei Prokofiev’s Toccata, Op. 11, and Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Scherzo from Symphony No. 6. Monnot will contribute his own reworkings of piano etudes and preludes by Alexander Scriabin.

Cleveland POPS will feature music composed for Ian Fleming’s iconic British secret agent 007 in a concert titled “The Name is Bond…James Bond.” The thrills begin at Severance Hall on Saturday, November 12 at 8:00 pm, featuring singer, actor, and comedienne Rachel York. Carl Topilow conducts, and maybe the drinks at intermission will be shaken, not stirred. Tickets here.

For details of these and many other events, visit the Concert Listings page.

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