German pianist Peter Rosel has been a popular soloist with the Florida Orchestra, and he returns this weekend to play Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 1. Rosel is matched with his fellow German, guest conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing, whose program also includes Liszt's Mephisto Waltz No. 1 and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique. Concerts are at 8 p.m. Friday at Morsani Hall of the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa; 8 p.m. Saturday at Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg; and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater. $15-$45, with $10 tickets for students, educators, military. (727) 892-3337 or 1-800-662-7286; floridaorchestra.org.
A Verdi rarity is on the agenda at Sarasota Opera, Un Giorno di Regno (A King for a Day), the second opera by the Italian master, premiered in 1840. Mainly for diehards, it is the 29th installment in the company's ongoing Verdi cycle under artistic director Victor DeRenzi, who will be leading the orchestra in the pit for Saturday's opening night. There are seven performances through March 24. $19-$125. (941) 328-1300; sarasotaopera.org.
Creole Choir of Cuba
Cuban music has been in the air in the bay area, thanks to the Florida Orchestra's cultural exchange with the island's musical institutions. Now comes the Creole Choir of Cuba, presented by the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa. The 10 singers are from Camaguey, the nation's third-largest city. With voice and percussion, they have developed a rich Afro-Cuban sound to celebrate the history of their Haitian ancestry in songs like Edem Chante (Listen to us). Called Grupo Vocal Desandann in Cuba, the choir gives a concert at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Straz's Ferguson Hall. $20. (813-229-7827 or 1-800-955-1045; strazcenter.org.
John Fleming, Times performing arts critic