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Liszt leads a list of must-see concerts & operas in May

Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz No. 1, Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke, Prokofiev’s Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra, Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, and Zhou Long’s The Rhyme of Taigu will be played by The Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra as it celebrates Mother’s Day with a 7:30 p.m. concert on May 11 at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall on 220 S. Michigan Avenue. To order tickets, visit www.cyso.org or call 312-939-2207.

The Chinese Fine Arts Society continues its year-long series Forces of Nature: The Five Elements Project with installment two: Earth and Wood featuring premiere compositions for Chicago audiences at 3 p.m. on May 18 at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Preston Bradley Hall on 78 E. Washington Street. No tickets are needed for the free concert.

Chicago Opera Theater presents four performances (May 31- June 8) of Carl Orff’s The Clever One and Viktor Ullmann’s The Emperor of Atlantis played together at the Merle Reskin Theatre of DePaul University on 60 E. Balbo. Both of the one-act German-language operas are satires which emphasize the absurdity of oppression and dictatorships. For tickets and more information, visit www.chicagooperatheater.org or call 312-704-8414.

Under the direction of Bienen School Artist-in-Residence Michael M. Ehrman, Northwestern University students from the School’s voice and opera program will perform Cosi fan tutte (May 22-25) in Italian with English supertitles at Cahn Auditorium on 600 Emerson Street in Evanston. Loosely translated to “Thus Do They All,” Mozart’s two-act opera dates back to 1790 and features a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, who also wrote the librettos for Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni. On May 24, there will be a live webcast of the 7:30 p.m. performance at www.pickstaiger.org/webcasts.

At 7:30 pm. on Friday, May 23, the University presents its Keyboard Conversations series with Mistresses and Masterpieces featuring Pianist Jeffrey Siegel who will perform pieces by Liszt, Schumann and Brahms at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall on Northwestern’s Evanston campus. For tickets ($16-$22) or more information, visit twww.pickstaiger.org.