There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Donizetti—the composer, not the similarly named Ninja Turtle or Renaissance sculptor—was a prolific music scribe in his day, famous mostly for his operas because he wrote so damn many of them. Anna Bolena, L’elisir d’amore, and Don Pasquale are his best-known, but there were several dozen others, comic and serious, the bulk of which came to define the bel canto style. He did write some non-opera music, however, an amount small enough that it usually gets its own special concerts under the subtitle of “Donizetti’s non-opera music.” Which is what Teatro Lirico, a local company that specializes in rare music from the Spanish and Italian lyric tradition, offers for its season opener. Aside from the liturgical stuff he wrote to brown-nose nobles, popes, and the like, Donizetti also wrote a number of short solos and duets with piano accompaniment based on what were then popular Italian folk songs, poems by Metastasio, or standalone arias, which served as mini-operas for a select crowd. This evening’s a tradeoff: You get the same 19th-century vocal entertainment without the orchestration or staging, but with a more intimate, VIP kind of treatment. Teatro Lirico performs at 7:30 p.m. at the International Student House, 1825 R St. NW. $30–$60. (202) 360-3514. teatroliricodc.com.