We’re entering a busy operatic time around our region, having already begun with Midland Opera’s production at the Crescent Theatre of Donizetti’s delightful comedy The Elixir of Love.
The run continues until Saturday.
And mega-Donizetti comes to Birmingham Hippodrome when Welsh National Opera visits with his trilogy of Tudor operas (Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda and Roberto Devereux) in the middle of next month.
There will also be a revival of the company’s gripping production of Puccini’s Tosca, as laden with gory melodrama as anything in Donizetti’s three execution operas.
Before then, though, English Touring Opera is bringing three important Italian baroque operas to the Malvern Festival Theatre, presenting Italian Baroque Opera from Venice, beginning tonight (Thursday) with Handel’s Agrippina.
Tomorrow (Friday) it’s the turn of Monteverdi’s decidedly sexy L’Incoronazione di Poppea, and the run concludes on Saturday with a rare chance to appreciate why Cavalli’s Jason was one of the most popular operas of the 17th century.
Malvern moves from the grandiose to the intimate later this season, with Nocturne, a picture of Frederic Chopin.
Lucy Parham has created this programme of music and words drawn from letters and diaries chronicling the Polish pianist-composer’s life, not least the turbulent period of his relationship with the controversial cross-dressing (and deceptively-named) George Sand and their escape with her children to the island of Majorca.
Parham herself contributes the piano solos, and narrations are read by the actors Harriet Walter and Henry Goodman (December 1, 7pm).
Back closer to home, the University of Birmingham hosts a Bramall First Anniversary Weekend, celebrating the heady opening of the amazing new Music Department building, with its fantastic Elgar Concert Hall, in the Great Hall Crescent surrounding the Joseph Chamberlain clock-tower already a year ago.
Among the major developments surrounding this relocation of the department from various bolt-holes around the Edgbaston campus has been the appointment of CBSO chorus director Simon Halsey as director of choral studies, and he and his MA choral conducting students lead a programme of Britten, Purcell, Rutter, Tomkins, Vaughan Williams, Weelkes and Wilby, performed by the Birmingham University Singers and the University Women’s Choir on November 23 (7.30pm).
The following evening the University Chamber Choirs paint a musical portrait of the four seasons, with works by Mascagni (his rarely-heard Anthem for Spring), Holst (the equally rarely-heard Summer from Two Eastern Pictures), Beck (Autumn) and Elgar (The Snow).
The concert ends with the University Chorus jazzing it up with Constant Lambert’s effervescent Rio Grande).
And the celebratory weekend spills over into the beginning of December (1, 6pm), when the University’s director of orchestral studies, Daniele Rosina, conducts the Philharmonic Orchestra in a programme of Sibelius (Symphony no.1 in E minor), Smetana (the very rare Prague Carnival, plus the famous Sarka, from the famous Ma Vlast sextet of the composer’s “My Country” symphonic poems), and Stravinsky, his Circus Polka commissioned for a 1942 ballet by the famed choreographer George Balanchine, and the Barnum and Bailey Circus for 50 elephants and 50 human dancers.
* Midland Opera at Crescent Theatre Birmingham until Saturday (7.15pm). Details on 0121 444 6842.
* Welsh National Opera at Birmingham Hippodrome November 12 - 16 (0844 338 5000).
* Malvern Theatres on 01684 892277.
* Bramall Building, University of Birmingham 0121 414 3280.