Aria ready for some opera? The season is in full voice across the United States right now. The variety and range of offerings is staggering, but here are a few of the outstanding productions, such as 'Dead Man Walking' and 'Otello.'
Poulenc: Dialogues of the Carmelites
Feb. 28, March 1-3; Tucson, April 5-7
Kirk Muspratt conducts Poulenc's moving work about martyred nuns during the French Revolution.
602-266 7464 or www.azopera.com
Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin: March 1-3
Renée Fleming Recital: March 17
Samuel Ramey Recital: April 7
Heggie: Dead Man Walking: April 16-21
Opera Pacific offers the resonant bass Eric Halfvarson as Prince Gremin in "Eugene Onegin," followed by two superstar concerts and a run of the compelling opera "Dead Man Walking."
949-474 44880 or www.operapacific.org
Offenbach: The Tales of Hoffmann
Conductor Willie Anthony Waters leads veteran bass John Cheek in the role of Lindorf in Offenbach's delirious riff on stories by Hoffmann.
860-246-6807 or www.connecticutopera.org
The Washington Opera
Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera
March 30, April 2-20
Tchaikovsky: The Queen of Spades
May 11-28, June 2-8
Up-and-coming tenor Marcello Giordani headlines Verdi's "Ballo" and the still-excellent Plácido Domingo stars in "Queen of Spades."
202-295-2400 or www.dc-opera.org
Florida Grand Opera
Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov
March 13-24; Fort Lauderdale, March 28, 30.
Donizetti: Don Pasquale
May 8-19; Fort Lauderdale, May 23, 25.
Stalwart American bass James Morris ventures the title role in Mussorgsky's epic, while brilliant conductor Will Crutchfield fizzes up Donizetti's delightful comedy.
305-800-741-1010 or www.fgo.org
Christian Badea conducts star soprano Aprile Millo as Desdemona and solid baritone Alexandru Agache as Iago.
410-727-6000 or www.baltimoreopera.com
Handel and Haydn Society
April 19, 21
Music director Christopher Hogwood will lead a performance of Handel's rarely staged opera. It makes a nice change from 'Messiah.'
Motown will be trilling to the sound of the famous "Bell Song" of Lakmé, as sung by coloratura virtuoso Sumi Jo in the title role.
313-237-7464 (SING) or www.motopera.org
The Metropolitan Opera
Rossini: The Barber of Seville
Features the sensational Met debut of Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez.
212-362-6000 or www.metopera.org
New York City Opera
John Philip Sousa: The Glass Blowers
Expert British Handelian Jane Glover leads "Agrippina," and Sousa's "The Glass Blowers" will have his fans marching over to hear it.
212-870-5570 or www.nycopera.com
Rossini: The Barber of Seville
Acclaimed lyric tenor Bruce Fowler and soprano Vivica Genaux star in this revival of Rossini's frothy comedy.
704-372 1000 or www.operacarolina.org
Surefire Conductor Imre Palló puts baritone Robert McFarland through his paces in the title role of Verdi's tragic jester.
216-575-0903 or www.clevelandopera.org
Gian Carlo Menotti: The Consul
March 30, April 1-6
A rare chance to hear a gripping Cold War-era drama, sung by soprano Karen Huffstodt.
(503) 241-1802 or www.portlandopera.org
Kurt Weill: Street Scene
Puccini: Madama Butterfly
Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor
The best-conducted regional opera in America, thanks to the superbly gifted maestro John Mauceri. He leads tenor Alfredo Portilla in "Butterfly" and the French soprano Annick Massis as Lucia. Don't miss it.
412-456 6666 or www.pghopera.org
Fort Worth Opera
Gershwin: Porgy and Bess
Although the Dallas Opera's spring season is already over, opera-loving Texans may console themselves with Gershwin's beloved work.
817-731 0200 or www.fwopera.org
This production shows off the chops of baritone Timothy Noble as Tonio; paired with Orff's concert work Carmina Burana.
801-323 6868 or www.utahopera.org
Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier
May 25, 31, June 2
Conductor Joseph Rescigno propels a cast headed by bass John Cheek as the boorish Baron Ochs in the ravishingly melodic Strauss work.
414-291 5700 or www.florentineopera.org