You have to hand it to artistic director Steven Ovitsky for coming up with one of the most unusual ideas ever for a Grant Park opening night: Borodin’s monumental Prince Igor, which, next to Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, is probably the most famous example of 19th-century Russian grand opera. Prince Igor is heard so rarely that this performance will be a real treat, especially with Metropolitan Opera bass Paul Plishka in the lead and an array of soloists from the Kiev Opera. Even though the opera can be overlong, it’s filled with rich Russian textures and fascinating sonorities. Grant Park’s principal conductor Zdenek Macal will conduct–it’s his first opera here–and the Grant Park Symphony Chorus rounds out the massive spectacle. Saturday, 8 PM, and Sunday, 7 PM, Petrillo Music Shell, Grant Park, Columbus and Jackson; 819-0614.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Christian Steiner.