One of the most popular operas ever written, Aida was commissioned from Giuseppe Verdi in 1871 by the Khedive of Egypt to show off Cairo’s grand new opera house. In the opera, an Egyptian warrior falls in love with an Ethiopian slave, setting up a struggle between love and loyalty, passion and duty. HGO’s production features Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska in the title role.
Oct 18–Nov 9. $35–325. Houston Grand Opera. Brown Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave. 713-228-6737. houstongrandopera.org
Midori Plays Mendelssohn
Earlier this year, the Houston Symphony named Colombian-born, Vienna-trained conductor André Orozco-Estrada as the orchestra’s next music director. Orozco-Estrada will assume his duties full-time in the 2014–2015 season; this season, he’s appearing several times, beginning this week, when he leads violin virtuoso Midori in Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. Thursday night’s concert will be held at Sugar Land Baptist Church and Friday night’s ACCESS concert will feature commentary by NPR’s Miles Hoffman. Also on the program: Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 and (except for the ACCESS concert) Gubaidulina’s Fairytale Poem.
Oct 17 at 8. $20–65. Houston Symphony. Sugar Land Baptist Church, 16755 Southwest Frwy. 713-224-7575. houstonsymphony.org
Oct 18 at 7:30; Oct 19 at 8; Oct 20 at 2:30. $25–124. Houston Symphony. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana St. 713-224-7575. houstonsymphony.org
As part of its Neighborhood Series, Mercury visits four locations around Houston to perform a concert of works by child virtuosos Rossini, Mozart, and Mendelssohn. Consisting of pieces written when the composers were between the ages of 12 and 16, this concert is sure to humble the parents of all other would-be prodigies. As always, the Mercury musicians will perform on period instruments.
Oct 17 at 8. Gallery M Squared, 339 W 19th St.
Oct 19 at 7. The Museum of Fine Arts, 1001 Bissonnet St.
Oct 20 at 7. Dosey Doe, 25911 I-45 Frontage Rd, The Woodlands.
Oct 26 at 2:30. Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, 11612 Memorial Dr.
$15–30. 713-533-0080. mercuryhouston.org
Peter and the Starcatcher
Everyone knows the story of Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up, but how did Pan become Pan? That the question posed by Peter and the Starcatcher, “A Grown-up’s Prequel to Peter Pan,” which opened on Broadway last year and won five Tony Awards. Based on a novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, the musical won strong reviews, with the New York Times’s Ben Brantley raving that “the show never stops flying.”
Oct 15–20. Tickets start at $30. Sarofim Hall, The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby St. 713-622-7469. houston.broadway.com
East End Street Fest
Recent visitors to the East End may have noticed the dramatic changes to Navigation Blvd, which now features a colorful, four-block-long esplanade designed by top national artists. The second annual East End Street Fest, organized by the East End Chamber of Commerce, will showcase the new esplanade, along with local food and music from neighborhood mainstays. Fifteen musical groups will take turns performing on two stages, and the festival will culminate with the crowning of the first ever East End Rey & Reina.
Oct 19 11–8. $7; 12 & under free. 2600 Navigation Blvd.