Critic’s Choice

Tue Feb 28, 2017 at 8:14 pm

Opera Lafayette has just revived Pierre Gaveaux’s Léonore, ou L’amour conjugal, the source work for Beethoven’s Fidelio a few years later. This weekend Antony Walker will conduct Washington Concert Opera in a reconstruction of the first version of Beethoven’s sole opera, called Leonore, oder Der Triumph der ehelichen Liebe at its 1805 premiere. Those familiar with the third revision of the opera, under it’s common title, Fidelio, can compare the three-act original with its later 1814 cousin in two acts.

Walker has assembled an excellent cast, with soprano Marjorie Owens, familiar to Washington audiences since her apprentice years with Wolf Trap Opera, in the title role. Tenor Simon O’Neill will sing Florestan, and the extraordinary soprano Celena Shafer returns as Marzelline. Eric Halfvarson and Alan Held, both featured in Washington National Opera’s Ring Cycle last spring, round out the cast.

This performance takes place 6 p.m. Sunday at Lisner Auditorium, on the campus of George Washington University. concertopera.org; 202-364-5826.

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Earlier that afternoon another great soprano, Dawn Upshaw, performs a song recital with pianist Gilbert Kalish, featuring music of  Schubert, Ravel, Bartók, Bolcom, and more. This concert is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday at The Clarice in College Park. theclarice.umd.edu; 301-405-2787.


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