Portland Opera, Keller Auditorium, 222 S.W. Clay St.
A comic masterpiece, Giuseppi Verdi’s final opera puts Shakespeare’s greatest fool front and center and surrounds him with some of the composer’s finest music.
The Big Oh!
May 11 (Agnes Flanagan Chapel, Lewis & Clark College, 0615 S.W. Palatine Hill Road) and May 12 (Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 N.E. Alberta St.)
The top-flight choir’s season comes to a climax in a clever concert featuring music about the peak of pleasure, from Verdi, Wagner, Bruckner, Monteverdi, Mozart and other randy classical composers.
Portland Youth Philharmonic, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 S.W. Broadway
The quality displayed by the nation’s oldest youth orchestra continues to belie its teenage members’ ages, and conductor David Hattner crafts an excellent program of masterpieces from the 21st (Christopher Theofanidis’s dazzling “Visions and Miracles”) and 20th centuries (Stravinsky’s game-changing “Symphonies of Wind Instruments” and Bartók’s thrilling Concerto for Orchestra), plus Romantic Polish composer Henryk Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 2.
Mission Theater & Pub, 1624 N.W. Glisan St.
Two stars of the jazz-meets-contemporary-classical movement, singer Theo Bleckmann and drummer John Hollenbeck, join the superb erstwhile Oregonian pianist/keyboardist Gary Versace in this PDX Jazz concert.
PSU Chamber Choir
May 17 (St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, 1112 S.E. 41st Ave.) and May 19 (Kairos-Milwaukie United Church of Christ, 4790 S.E. Logus Road, Milwaukie)
The award-winning choristers sing for their plane fare to Italy, where they will be the first American choir to compete in the prestigious, half-century old Seghizzi International Competition for Choral Singing. They’ll regale the judges there, and Portland listeners here, with American folksongs, hymns, spirituals and music by contemporary composers such as Eric Whitacre and Eriks Esenvalds, plus Romantic masters like Verdi, Mendelssohn and Rachmaninoff.
Oh, Those Gershwin Boys
Portland Chamber Orchestra
June 8 (Century High School, 2000 S.E. Century Blvd., Hillsboro) and June 9 (Agnes Flanagan Chapel, Lewis & Clark College, 0615 S.W. Palatine Hill Road)
Rocky Blumhagen and Susannah Mars join the orchestra for a musical biography of one of America’s greatest masters of music, as viewed from the perspectives of his brother/collaborator Ira and his paramour Kay Swift.
A Muse of Fire
Chamber Music Northwest
June 24 (Kaul Auditorium, 3203 S.E. Woodstock Blvd.) and June 25 (Catlin Gabel School, 8825 S.W. Barnes Road)
The venerable annual summer festival kicks off with the renowned husband-and-wife, cellist-and-pianist team of David Finckel and Wu Han, playing music by Brahms, Beethoven and Bruch.