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Huge variety in music, era and style for opera fans this spring

March 26, 2018 GMT

Opera-goers, set your clocks for April.

Whether you’re a die-hard opera fan, a casual aficionado, or you’ve never been to an opera in your life (but have always been a bit curious about the genre), the coming month offers some amazing variety.

In late April, Madison Opera brings Daniel Catan’s 1996 opera “Florencia en el Amazonas,” inspired by the writings of Gabriel García Márquez, to the Overture Hall stage. Earlier in the month, Madison Bach Musicians will transport audiences back to the Baroque with Henry Purcell’s “Dido & Aeneas” and J. S. Bach’s “Coffee Cantata.” And that same week Opera Fresco will open “Queen of the Night” – a world premiere, billed as a “prequel” to Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.”

Different periods, different musical styles and varying formats — but all three designed to be great adventures in opera. The details:

Fresco Opera Theatre: Enter the Realm of Night, home to the Queen of the Night and where her children — Papageno, Pamina and The Three Ladies — are born from the shadows. “The Queen of the Night,” an original opera with music by Jordan Jenkins and a libretto by UW-Madison professor Amy Quan Barry and Madison novelist Andrew Ravenscroft, will be performed April 5-8 at the Masonic Center, 301 Wisconsin Ave. Tickets are $30-45 (Thursday night student and teacher discount $10), available at www.frescooperatheatre.com

Madison Bach Musicians: Join MBM for a “double feature” of Henry Purcell’s tragic masterpiece, “Dido & Aeneas,” and J. S. Bach’s “Coffee Cantata” with accomplished singers, dancers and a full baroque orchestra under the direction of UW-Madison music professor Marc Vallon. David Ronis directs. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. April 7 and 3:30 p.m. April 8, with lectures about the music by Trevor Stephenson starting at 6:45 p.m. and 2:45 p.m., respectively. Held at First Unitarian Society Atrium Auditorium, 900 University Bay Drive. Tickets $35-$38. More information is at madisonbachmusicians.org.

Madison Opera: Set in Colombia in the early 1900s, “Florencia en el Amazonas” follows a famous opera singer through her anonymous voyage down the Amazon River, looking for the lover she left behind. Filled with mystery and enchantment, the opera by Daniel Catan is sung in Spanish with projected English translations; John DeMain conducts and Kristine McIntyre directs. Performed at 8 p.m. April 27 and 2:30 p.m. April 29 in Overture Hall, Overture Center for the Arts, 201 State St. Tickets $18-$130 at the Overture box office, 608-258-4141 or overturecenter.org.