Music guide: A soundtrack to springtime

Paris Combo come to Berklee in May. Credit:  Jorge Fidel Alvarez
Paris Combo come to Berklee in May.
Credit: Jorge Fidel Alvarez

MARCH
‘Cosi Fan Tutte’
Through March 24
Citi Shubert Theatre
265 Tremont St., Boston
$30-$225, 617-542-6772
www.blo.org
The Boston Lyric Opera presents a Mozart opera about fiancee-swapping (apparently that used to be a thing). Two officers gamble that both of their fiancees will be forever faithful, then proceed to hit on each other’s honeys to win the bet. Highly esteemed British baritone Thomas Allen appears in his signature role as Don Alfonso in his BLO debut. The show, though traditionally sung in Italian will be done in English.

Mozart, Thomas and Saint-Saens
Through March 16
Symphony Hall
301 Mass. Ave., Boston
$30-$114, 888-266-1200
www.bso.org
Classic cellist Lynn Harrell is the featured soloist in American composer Augusta Read Thomas’s Cello Concerto No. 3. It’s a Boston Symphony Orchestra world premiere. Also on the program are Saint-Saens’s Symphony No. 3—with first-time BSO performer Olivier Latry, a French organist—and Mozart’s Symphony No. 41. Nicknamed “Jupiter,” the latter was the great composer’s last and longest symphony. National Symphony Orchestra musical director Christophe Eschenback conducts.

Freshlyground
March 17, The Paradise
967 Comm. Ave., Boston
$20-$25, 617-876-4275
www.worldmusic.org
The seven members of this Afro Pop band are superstars in South Africa. Never heard of them? Think again: They’re featured in Shakira’s hit song “Waka Wake (This Time for Africa).” And they’re just as catchy without the Colombian bombshell. Listen to tracks from any of their five albums and you’ll hear sounds of Zulu folk, reggae and mbira (a popular African instrument also called a “thumb piano”).

Seize the Day!
March 23 and 24
NEC’s Jordan Hall
30 Gainsborough St., Boston
$16-$46, 617-542-7464
www.bgmc.org
The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus celebrate the human spirit at their spring concert. They’ll sing the story of a young man in Harlem using Langston Hughes poetry in a world premiere piece by composer Ricky Ian Gordon.

APRIL
Carolina Chocolate Drops
April 6, House of Blues
15 Lansdowne St., Boston
$25-$40, 617-876-4275
www.worldmusic.org
This old-timey string band from North Carolina won a Grammy in 2011 for their traditional folk sound. The banjo, fiddle, harmonica and kazoo-playing trio will be joined by cellist Leyla McCalla in April. The band, with a style reminiscent of 1920s and ‘30s black Southern music, hopes to reinvigorate the central role African-Americans had in shaping American pop music.

Dreams and Magic
April 13 and 14, Faneuil Hall
One Faneuil Hall, Boston
$34-$74, 866-811-4111
www.bostonclassicalorchestra.org
Many locals associate the Fanueil Hall marketplace with tourists, but inside those historic walls on the second floor there’s an intimate auditorium space where the Boston Classical Orchestra performs. In its final show this season, baritone Philip Lima will join the BCO to sing composer Lee Hoiby’s “I Have a Dream” (based on the famous MLK Jr. speech). He’ll also do songs by composer Gustav Mahler from “Des Knaben Wunderhorn.”

‘Amadeus’
April 28 through May 19
The Arsenal Center For The Arts
321 Arsenal St., Watertown
$28-$58, 617-923-8487
www.newrep.org
Though technically a play (and a 1984 movie), “Amadeus” fits comfortably in Metro’s “Music” category, for the show is all about musical masterpieces of the 18th century. The drama explores the rivalry between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri. Salieri, a classic—and jealous—Viennese composer, falsely befriends Mozart in hopes of ruining his foe’s legacy. Spoiler alert: Mozart does pretty well despite Salieri’s intentions.

MAY
Handel’s ‘Jephtha’
May 3 through 5, Symphony Hall
301 Mass. Ave., Boston
$20-$84, 617-266-3605
www.handelandhaydn.org
Harry Christophers, considered one of the finest Handelians around, will conduct “Jephtha,” an oratorio not seen at Boston’s Symphony Hall since 1867. Like an opera — with live orchestra, a choir and a storyline — but strictly a concert piece, the oratorio tells a dramatic tale about an Israelite commander and his daughter, who is betrothed to one of her father’s soldiers. Perhaps the biggest star in the show is, fittingly, Handel’s music.

Matthew Morrison from ‘Glee’
May 28 and 29, Symphony Hall
301 Mass. Ave., Boston
$22-$92, 888-266-1200
www.bso.org
Matthew Morrison is an actor, dancer and singer/songwriter with a bunch of Broadway and Off-Broadway credits to his name. He was even nominated for a Tony Award! But let’s face it, you only know him as an eager high school glee club director who inspires all of Sue Sylvester’s best taunts. He joins the venerable Keith Lockhart and the Pops at Symphony Hall to perform songs from his upcoming second album.

Paris Combo
May 3
Berklee Performance Center
136 Mass. Ave., Boston
$28-$37, 617-876-4275
www.worldmusic.org
This Paris-based group blends traditional French chanson with jazz, swing, Gypsy folk and North African music. They also have a little bit of post-punk, Surrealist, Spanish and Italian influences. Let’s just call their sound “world music,” shall we? It’s quirky, cool and cabaret sexy. The quintet, with chanteuse Bella du Berry leading the helm vocally, has five albums and a decade of experience.


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