Outside a chill night may hover in darkness. But inside, a costumed ensemble of seven actors from Nebraska Shakespeare offer bright warmth and charm, peopling passages from A Midsummer Night’s Dream amid the aural magnificence of The Omaha Symphony performing Mendelssohn’s music written to accompany that legendary comedy. Other voices lift in song, those of sopranos Karina Brazas and Shelby VanNordstrand as well as Lincoln-based Abendmusik. Prior, intimations of Much Ado’s About Nothing’s quarrelsome Beatrice and Benedict tussle and tease, brought forth by Hector Berlioz. In the overture to his opera, Italy’s Valentina Peleggi takes over the podium. She is the 2015-2017 Taki Concordia Conducting Fellow. That program promotes talented women conductors at the beginning of their professional careers. Thereafter Berlioz’s take on star-crossed Romeo and Juliet embraces them tenderly, cherishing the glowing evening wherein a garden and a balcony are all the world to them. Thomas Wilkins’ expressive hands lead on.
Omaha Symphony’s Shakespeare Festival’s Evening 2 is Jan. 27. Kiewit Hall, Holland Center, 1200 Douglas St. Fri. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $19-$70