Opera: It’s hard to imagine a more challenging subject than that of the Polish-Soviet composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s 1968 opera, The Passenger. Written for the Bolshoi but shelved, it was not performed until 2010, when it made its sensational debut at the Bregenz Festival in Austria. Tonight, Florida Grand Opera brings that David Pountney-directed production to the Ziff Ballet Opera House for the first of five performances. Set just after World War II, it’s the story of a German couple on their way to Brazil aboard a ship when the wife sees someone on board whom she may have overseen as a camp warden at Auschwitz. The set is carved into two levels: The ship above and the death camp below, and the score is harrowing and ferocious. It’s not for nothing that Shostakovich was an admirer of Weinberg, whose music has gained more attention in the years since his death in 1996. The show opens tonight at 7, repeats at 2 p.m. Sunday, and 8 p.m. Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Opera devotees must not miss it. Call 800-741-1010 or visit www.fgo.org.
Film: Remember the play Souvenir, about tone-deaf, talent-challenged Florence Foster Jenkins, the rich devotee of opera who would produce her own opera concerts, oblivious to the fact that she really could not sing? French screenwriter-director Xavier Giannoli has fictionalized her story and turned it into an examination of self-delusion in Marguerite, winner of four Cesar Awards, the French equivalent of the Oscar, including one for best actress for star Catherine Frot. It opens this weekend at the Shadowood in Boca Raton and other area theaters.
Theater: As its name implies, Palm Beach Dramaworks is not in business to produce comedies, and certainly not formulaic romantic comedies. But it readily makes an exception for John Patrick Shanley’s recent Irish yarn, Outside Mullingar, a tale of the obstacles to love placed in the way of two middle-aged farmers who grew up on adjacent properties in the Irish Midlands. Rosemary (Kathy McCafferty) and Anthony (Nick Hetherington) all but give off sparks as they feign indifference to each other, until the inevitable final clinch followed by the arrival of the sun, chasing away the constant gloom. Call it an Irish Moonstruck if you like, but head to Dramaworks this month for a pleasurable, if predictable evening of theater. Continuing through April 24. Call 561-514-4042, ext. 2, for tickets.