VOCAL FIREWORKS: THE BARBER OF SEVILLE
Opera Tampa opens its season with The Barber of Seville, Rossiniís most famous and successful work. It stars Gabriel Preisser as Figaro (the same character introduced 30 years earlier in Mozartís The Marriage of Figaro), Tyler Scott Nelson as Count Almaviva, and Cecilia Lopez as Rosina, whom the count and others are trying to win over.
All were in fine form during a recent rehearsal crackling with humor in this romantic comedy.
"For a reason, this is one of the top 10 shows in all the canon of opera," said guest conductor Jorge Parodi, above. "Itís consistently at a high level musically. One number after the next are really first-class numbers, and theyíre all show stoppers."
The flashiness and "fireworks" in the music helps singers. As Parodi said, "The way itís written is to show their vocal abilities." 8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday. David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $66.75 and up. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.
MORE OPERA: THE MAGIC FLUTE
And itís a busy weekend for opera lovers, as the St. Petersburg Opera Co. rolls out Mozartís last, The Magic Flute. This whimsical fairy tale with mythological overtones features the return of Lara Lynn McGill, who had some out-of-the-park moments in last yearís The Tales of Hoffmann, in the leading role of Pamina. Up-and-coming coloratura soprano Kelli Butler plays the Queen of the Night and in 2016 played the district attorney in Five, an opera about the Central Park Five rape case of 1989.
The Magic Flute is stocked with Masonic symbolism and numerology, as both Mozart and Austrian actor and theater producer Emanuel Schikaneder, who wrote the libretto, were Freemasons. It opens with three women who serve the Queen rescuing prince Tamino. Later, three spirit boys guide the prince to a temple of a mysterious brotherhood with three doors. 7:30 Friday, 2 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Palladium Theatre, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $20 and up. (727) 823-2040. stpeteopera.org.
FREEFALL CALLS: THE GLASS MENAGERIE
Two grown children try to stave off emotional suffocation, thanks to their well-meaning boa constrictor of a mother and forces more hidden. Thus the Freefall Theatre season (christened "On Second Glance ó Familiar Stories, New Perspectives") comes to a momentous point as it takes on the Tennessee Williams classic The Glass Menagerie. Broadway and regional theater veteran Stephanie Lynge plays Amanda Wingfield, alongside Ali Foley and Rob Glauz, left, as Laura and Tom, and Michael David as the gentleman caller. This could be potent. Runs Saturday through Feb. 25. 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $25 and up. Previews Friday and Saturday (matinee) cost $25. (727) 498-5205. For showtimes, go to freefalltheatre.com.
YOUR TABLEíS WAITING: CABARET
A year after coming through town on a 50th anniversary celebration of Roundabout Theatre Company, the national tour of Cabaret is still going strong. The Emcee, Sally Bowles and the ensemble raise spirits in the Kit Kat Klub, but the atmosphere in pre-World War II Germany is darkening. 2 and 8 p.m. Friday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. $35 and up. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.
FRESH LEGS: BALLETBOYZ
Two Royal Ballet dancers founded BalletBoyz in 2000, adding a blue-collar irreverence to the form. Founders Michael Nunn and William Trevitt now direct the 10 dancers in gritty movement poems that have attracted an international following. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $44.50 and up. (727) 892-5798. themahaffey.com.
VERSATILE: BLACK VIOLIN
Floridians Kev Marcus and Wil B, the duo that make up Black Violin, continue to turn heads with their eclectic styles, ranging from hip-hop to classical. 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa. $40 and up. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.