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Best Opera Performances In Minnesota

The phrase "world-class" gets tossed around a lot in marketing materials. When it comes to the world of opera, however, the Minnesota Opera deserves the accolade. Each year the company produces a number of memorable works at the Ordway Theater in St. Paul. Even better, its success has made it possible for several smaller opera companies to thrive in Minnesota. Here are five "can't-miss" Minnesota opera performances for 2012.
Gilbert and Sullivan Summer Concert

Gilbert And Sullivan Summer Concert
The Gilbert And Sullivan Very Light Opera Company
Lake Harriet Bandshell
4135 W Lake Harriet Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55419
(651) 255-6947

Price: Free and open to the public
Dates: July, 2012 (exact dates TBA)
Click here for more information on the summer concerts.

Since 1995, the Gilbert and Sullivan Very Light Opera Company has teamed up with the Minnesota Pops Orchestra to produce a concert version of one of Gilbert and Sullivan's classic works. The outdoor concerts are family-friendly and come complete with ice cream, making it the perfect venue for introducing the kids to a bit of classic musical culture. Also, the Bandshell at Lake Harriet, where all performances are held, provides a unique and intimate venue to experience opera in an unusual way. Performance dates have not yet been released for the 2012 season, however check back in June to plan out your July opera experience.


Minnesota Opera
Ordway Center
345 Washington Ave
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 224-4222

Price: Tickets go on sale July 23
Dates: September 22 through September 30

Giuseppe Verdi graces Minnesota audiences with his composition talents in "Nabucco," coming to the Ordway Center this fall. "Nabucco" is a four-act production telling the story of Nabucco, King of Babylon, and his struggles with the Israelites of Jerusalem. Due to the recent invasion of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, the prophet Zaccaria takes Nabucco's daughter, Fenena, captive to get some leverage on the matter. Meanwhile, Fenena falls in love with Babylonian Ismaele during her capture which causes various problems for everyone. Watch how this beautiful and emotional opera will end by attending a performance. You will be happy you came out for the show.

Related: Exploring Western Sculpture Park In St. Paul

Ted Mann Concert Hall

"Così Fan Tutte"
University Opera Theater
Ted Mann Concert Hall
2128 4th St S
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Price: $22 - adults, $12 - students and children, two-for-one tickets for students, faculty, alumni, staff and retirees
Dates: November 17 through November 20

The University of Minnesota's School Of Music has a popular opera program that produces several productions a year. This November, talented students will showcase Wolfgang Mozart's "Cosi Fan Tutte." This provocative piece follows the story of two men who bet on the fidelity of their fiancees. That bet has wide-ranging consequences, nearly all of them bad for the husbands-to-be. Find out how this lyrical story plays out by buying your tickets today.

Anna Bolena

"Anna Bolena"
Minnesota Opera
Ordway Center
345 Washington Ave
St. Paul, MN 55102
(651) 224-4222

Price: $20-$200
Dates: November 10 through November 18
Click here for performance information.

Written by famed composer Gaetano Donizetti, this production is the final piece of the Minnesota Opera's Tudor trilogy. The story of Anne Boleyn is a familiar one, but "Anna Bolena" brings an unexpected majesty to this story that has been told countless times. See what twists Donezetti brings through the breathtaking musical and vocal talents. Keri Alkema will be playing Anna Bolena, demonstrating the impressive power behind her soprano upbringing. Also, the opera will be sung in Italian with an English translation projected above the stage.

Related: Best Theatre Gems In The Twin Cities

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