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TUESDAY

Susan Graham and Renée Fleming are the opera stars we need, the opera stars we deserve. They’re fluent in the classics, fearless about new work: When they’re not giving benchmark performances in Gluck and Verdi, they’re premiering new operas by Americans old and young. (Graham was Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking; Fleming, Blanche DuBois in Andre Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire.) They’re the triumphant heirs to other American greats: Graham’s warm, bourbon-smooth mezzo makes me think of Frederica von Stade, still going strong (she played the murderer’s mother in Dead Man); Fleming, smart and elegant and bold, is an Eleanor Steber for our generation. Oh, and they do exquisite work together (that demented Alcina in Paris). Consider the possibilities when they come to town with an all-French program that ranges from the expected (Fauré, Debussy) to the downright obscure (a Mozart bagatelle written as a thank-you note; a duet from a Messager operetta about the French Revolution), at 7 p.m. in the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall. $30–$75. (202) 467-4600. (Trey Graham)