Critic’s Choice

By Lawrence Budmen

Elena Galván, an alumna of the Florida Grand Opera Studio young artists program, returns as Susanna in FGO's "The Marriage of Figaro." Photo: Valentina Sadiul

Elena Galván, an alumna of the Florida Grand Opera Studio young artists program, returns as Susanna in FGO’s “The Marriage of Figaro.” Photo: Valentina Sadiul

It has been a decade since Florida Grand Opera last presented Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. FGO brings back this greatest of operatic comedies for a run in both Miami and Fort Lauderdale, starting this weekend. The production, from Michigan Opera Theatre, is directed by Elise Sandell. Lyubov Petrova, who has sung leading soprano roles at the Met and major European houses, plays Countess Almaviva.

The remainder of the cast comprises current members and graduates of FGO’s Studio Artist program. Of particular interest is soprano Elena Galván. An enchanting Norina in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, Galván also held her own with a starry cast as the page Oscar in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera during her time in the program, and returns here as the soubrette heroine Susanna. Calvin Griffin sings Figaro, Jonathan Michie is Count Almaviva and Mariya Kaganskaya plays Cherubino. Andrew Bisantz, who led FGO’s superb production of Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Consul in 2015, returns to the podium.

Florida Grand Opera presents The Marriage of Figaro 7 p.m. Saturday, 8 p.m. January 29 and 31 and 2 p.m. February 3 at the Arsht Center in Miami and 7:30 p.m. February 7 and 6 p.m. February 9 at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale. fgo.org; 800-741-1010.

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Franz Welser-Möst’s performances of the symphonies of Gustav Mahler have been highlights of The Cleveland Orchestra’s Miami residencies in recent season. On Friday and Saturday, he leads the Clevelanders in Mahler’s mighty Symphony No. 2 in C minor (Resurrection). In addition to a large orchestra, the nearly 90 minute score requires mezzo-soprano and soprano soloists and chorus. Mezzo Sasha Cooke, who was an outstanding soloist in Mahler’s Das lied van der erde with Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony in 2016, and soprano Joélle Harvey do the solo honors and The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus also makes the trip to South Florida.

The Cleveland Orchestra plays Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection) 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Arsht Center in Miami. arshtcenter.org; 305-949-6722.

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Tue Jan 22, 2019
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