Critic’s Choice

By Lawrence Budmen

Photo: E. Appel/Fort Worth Opera

Photo: E. Appel/Fort Worth Opera

A 21st-century opera comes to South Florida Saturday night when Florida Grand Opera opens a five-performance run of Before Night Falls by Cuban-American composer Jorge Martín. Premiered at Fort Worth Opera in 2010, Martín’s work is based on the autobiographical memoir of the gay Cuban poet and political dissident Reinaldo Arenas. The opera traces Arenas’ tale of his impoverished childhood, imprisonment by the Castro government, emigration to the United States during the Mariel boatlift and his final decade in New York when he was stricken with the AIDS virus.

Baritone Elliot Madore plays Arenas in a cast that features the Miami-based artists, soprano Elizabeth Caballero and tenor Javier Abreu. Dinyar Vania, Calvin Griffin, Michael Kuhn, Melissa Fajardo and Laura León sing other major roles. Christopher Allen conducts and the production is directed by David Gately.

Florida Grand Opera presents Before Night Falls 7 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, and 8 p.m. Tuesday and March 24 and 25 at the Arsht Center in Miami. fgo.org; 800-741-1010.

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Across the street Saturday night at the Arsht Center’s Knight Concert Hall, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, one of the world’s finest and most recorded chamber orchestras, offers a diverse and adventurous program. Long associated with the late British conductor Neville Marriner, the ensemble will play Aaron Copland’s Quiet City and Mozart’s Symphony No. 29. They will be joined by Israel pianist Inon Barnatan for the American premiere of Scottish composer Alasdair Nicolson’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (“The Haunted Ebb”) and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 9.

The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields with pianist Inon Barnatan plays 8 p.m. Saturday at the Arsht Center in Miami and 8 p.m. Sunday at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. arshtcenter.org; kravis.org.

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Thu Mar 16, 2017
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