FRIDAY MAY 5
Where is the Great American Opera? Opera America proffers excerpts from several contemporary contenders: Tobias Picker's An American Tragedy, Michael Dellaira's Chéri (based on the novel by Colette), Thomas Pasatieri's Frau Margot, Joel Feigin's Twelfth Night, and Naomi's Road by Ramona Luengen. Seattle Public Library, 1000 Fourth Ave, 622-6882, 12:30–2 pm, free.
Hamilton, whose music can at once frustrate, baffle, and delight, presents The Dead Man's Piano: a tale with music. Jack Straw Productions, 4261 Roosevelt Way NE, 634-0919, sets at 8 & 9:15 pm, free.
SATURDAY MAY 6
BYRON AU YONG
I'm always eager to hear and see Au Yong perform his music, which elegantly mingles traditional instruments and theatrical staging with an astute sense of the avant. For the site-specific ritual Piao Zhu: Flying Bamboo, Au Yong and his ensemble "play, beat, spin, scratch, sing, dance, roam, and chant with their voices and instruments that include bamboo, Chinese drums, cymbals, flute, harmonica, kubing (mouth harp), and water." Seattle Asian Art Museum, 1400 E Prospect St, Volunteer Park, 654-3100, 11 am, free.
Designer Robert Israel's bold Parsifal in 2003 alternately excited and enervated me, so I'm eager to see his new production of Verdi's version of the immortal Shakespeare play. Runs through Saturday, May 20; see www.seattleopera.org for details. McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St, 389-7676, 7:30 pm, $41–$135.
MADE IN AMERICA
The first installment of this month-long festival teems with new and new-ish works, including George Perle's Sinfonietta I, James Matheson's Buzz, the Love Songs of Augusta Read Thomas, Derek Bermel's Soul Garden, and the piccolo quartet in Shadow, light by Seattle's own Ken Benshoof. Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall, Third Ave and Union St, 215-4747, 8 pm, $20.
Cloudy, ambient rock limned with sustaining guitars and bowed instruments distantly snarling out of nowhere, and humbly tapping percussion—all swelling in a slow crescendo—by Bill Rieflin, R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, Fred Chalenor, Matt Chamberlain, King Crimson kingpin Robert Fripp, and Hector Zazou. Although this supergroup's performance last October lingered too long in the safe harbor of 4/4 time, I enjoyed their twittering, lapping textures. My advice for the band: integrate the innovations of Evan Parker's Electro-Acoustic Ensemble with Bernhard Günter's Impossible Grey. Showbox, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151, 8 pm, $22.50 adv, $25 DOS.
MONDAY MAY 8
Music of Remembrance performs a concert version of Hans Krása's allegorical children's opera about kids and animals battling an evil organ grinder. The most remarkable moment of the evening may be the onstage interview with Ela Stein Weissberger, who played The Cat in Brundibár at the Terezín concentration camp over six decades ago. Also Tuesday May 9. Recital Hall at Benaroya, Third Ave & Union St, 365-7770, 7 pm, $25.
WEDNESDAY MAY 10
The flagship ensemble of the Monktail Creative Music Concern crowds Gallery 1412's tiny stage for a "no-holds-barred free-improv extravaganza." Gallery 1412, 1412 18th Ave, 322-1533, 8 pm, $5-–$15 sliding scale donation.