5 things to do this weekend

Published 10:25 am Thursday, December 8, 2016

1. “L’Amour de Loin”

Finish composer Kaija Saariaho’s breakthrough opera “L’Amour de Loin” will be transmitted live on Saturday from The Metropolitan Opera to the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center in Albert Lea.

The opera will begin at 11:55 a.m., with Meet the Met opera talk preceding at 11:30 a.m. in the Green Room.

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“L’Amour de Loin” is a haunting tale of love transcending the bounds of distance and death, adapted from a medieval troubadour’s fictionalized life story. It has three characters: Jaufre the troubadour, Clémence the Countess of Tripoli, whom he falls in love with sight unseen, and the Pilgrim, a trouser role who carries the couple’s messages and songs back and forth across the ocean.

The set contains over 38,000 LED lights strung across the stage and over the orchestra pit depicting a beautiful sea. The shimmering effects of the lights bring the water to life, emulating sunrise, dawn, evening and night.

This is the first performance of an opera by a female composer at The Metropolitan Opera since 1903.

Eric Owens stars as the troubadour, with Susanna Phillips as Clémence and Tamara Mumford as the Pilgrim.

The opera runs about two hours and 33 minutes and is sung in French with English subtitles.

Tickets are $20 for adults. There is a five-opera flex ticket for $90, as well as a limited number of free student tickets available by showing a school ID at the box office.

2. Holiday Bazaar and Cookie Walk

First Presbyterian Church will host the annual Holiday Bazaar and Cookie Walk from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at the church, 308 Water St.

Admission to the holiday bazaar is free. Cost for the cookie walk is $20. Tickets are available at the church office.

The proceeds of the event will benefit the church youth group’s annual mission trip.

3. Hanging of the Green

Hanging of the Green, a traditional church service held to prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ, will take place at 7 p.m. Friday at First Lutheran Church.

A 40-member church choir and special 30-piece orchestra will perform. A focal point will be the procession of light, where volunteers hang lighted wreaths to mark the coming of the light of the world.

The service is usually held the first week of Advent — the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas. Greens — such as cedar for royalty, fir and pine boughs for everlasting life, holly symbolizing Jesus’ death and ivy representing the resurrection — are often used.

This concert has become a favorite regional event which draws on the talents of local and professional musicians from Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

There is no admission charge for the concert or the reception following in Bethany Hall in the lower level of the church, though an offering will be taken.

4. “War Horse”

Since its first performance at the National Theatre in 2007, “War Horse” has become an international smash hit.

Based on Michael Morpurgo’s novel and adapted for the stage by Nick Stafford, “War Horse” takes audiences on an extraordinary journey from the fields or rural Devon to the trenches of France in World War I.

Filled with stirring music and songs, this powerfully moving and imaginative drama features life-size puppets by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, who bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to life on stage.

The show will be transmitted live on screen at 7 p.m. Friday.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for students.

5. Community records review

The Freeborn County Historical Museum will be open from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday for people to look at Albert Lea city records that have been scanned and will be available for public research at the museum.

The project has been possible through a community collaboration grant.

Admission is free.

The museum is at 1031 Bridge Ave.