BAM staged its first opera during the Civil War, and has since withstood fire, flood, and near-bankruptcy to emerge as the cultural hub of Kings County. So it is altogether proper that instead of slashing programs this year, the institution will debut its first-ever opera festival. This 16-day event is the brainchild of early music conductor William Christie, who's selected Purcell's The Fairy Queen, an obscure and bizarre take on A Midsummer Night's Dream, as the festival's centerpiece. The festival also introduces Baroque Cabaret, a series of stripped-down productions presented intimately and affordably at BAMcafe.
March 18-April 2, 6 & 9 p.m., 2010