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You might remember Barrie Kosky as the director who gave L.A. Opera's production of Mozart's The Magic Flute last year such a delightful twist by employing visual projections and silent-film style. He's back with two distinctly different approaches to the hourlong mini-operas on this double bill. Henry Purcell's ancient English opera, Dido & Aeneas, moves awkwardly from joy to pathos, but mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy imbues Aeneas with poise and a moving vulnerability, and Grant Gershon's chorus huddles tightly together in a vibrantly colorful quilt of period costumes and inventive poses. The real revelation, though, is the foreboding way singers Claudia Mahnke and Robert Hayward take command of a stage that moves like a luminous, slowly rotating ice floe in a hauntingly austere and unusual interpretation of Bela Bartok's chiller Bluebeard's Castle.

Sat., Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 2, 2 p.m.; Thu., Nov. 6, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 9, 2 p.m.; Wed., Nov. 12, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 15, 7:30 p.m., 2014
(Expired: 11/15/14)

LA Weekly