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Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — Johnny Depp vigil included

Your weekly guide: 5 don't-miss events with a Johnny Depp vigil

Houston Symphony presents "Mozart's Abduction"
The Houston Symphony rehearses for a concert performance of Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio. Courtesy of Houston Symphony/Facebook
Houston Grand Opera presents Madame Butterfly
Ana María Martinez as Cio-Cio-San and Alexey Dolgov as Pinkerton in Houston Grand Opera's Madame Butterfly. Photo by Lynn Lane
TUTS Underground presents Waiting For Johnny Depp
Theatre Under the Stars' rebellious alter ego presents the world premiere production of Waiting for Johnny Depp. Courtesy of TUTS Underground
Dance Month at the Kaplan Theatre: "Four + Four: A Celebration of Dance Concert"
"Four + Four" means two programs that spotlight four different dance companies in each performance as part of Dance Month at the Kaplan Theatre's 35th anniversary celebration. Courtesy photo
Context presents "Intimate Encounters: Masters of the French Baroque"
Paolo Bordignon, harpsichordist of the New York Philharmonic, shows his skills on two keyboards for Context's "Intimate Encounters." Courtesy photo
Houston Symphony presents "Mozart's Abduction"
Houston Grand Opera presents Madame Butterfly
TUTS Underground presents Waiting For Johnny Depp
Dance Month at the Kaplan Theatre: "Four + Four: A Celebration of Dance Concert"
Context presents "Intimate Encounters: Masters of the French Baroque"

Let's keep it classy this week with the creme de la creme artsy groups in the city, shall we? On the sched are witty and deeply emotional operas, a musical that reminds us of the importance of keeping things in perspective, a dance binge that features eight accomplished troupes and a historically informed concert with one keyboard whiz who's a big deal in the music scene.

Houston Symphony presents "Mozart's Abduction"

Too many notes? While not all scholars agree that Emperor Joseph II, who commissioned The Abduction from the Seraglio, actually meant this absurd comment as criticism of Mozart's opera buffa, the anecdote has become one of the funniest because of the film Amadeus. There are, indeed, lots of swift passages in the score that add to the excitement and wittiness of the lighthearted tale.

Hear all of them in a Houston Symphony semi-staged performance with maestro Andrés Orozco-Estrada, whose goal is to program one concert version of an opera per season. Joining the lively dirigent is charming soprano Lauren Snouffer as Konstanze, tenor Paul Appleby as Belmonte and the chorus from the Moores School of Music directed by Betsy Cook Weber.

The deets: Friday and Saturday; Jones Hall; tickets start at $25.

Houston Grand Opera presents Madame Butterfly

You may not know the opera but you surely know the story. Without giving too much away — because I believe that any experience is best with an element of surprise — I can promise you that many of the melodies of Puccini's Madame Butterfly you've heard over and over again. Because they are some of the most beautiful tunes ever written.

 If you don't get emotional, either this production sucked or you have no heart — chances are it's the latter. 

Ana María Martinez as Cio-Cio-San? Girl can wail. This casting is one for the history books.

If you don't get emotional, either this production sucked or you have no heart — chances are it's the latter.

The deets: Friday through Feb. 8; Wortham Theater Center; tickets start at $18.

TUTS Underground presents Waiting For Johnny Depp

Theatre Under the Stars' rebellious alter ego that presents musicals for contemporary-minded audiences stages the world premiere production of Waiting for Johnny Depp, a story of a struggling actress who lives in the Big Apple. In her quest for infamy, she loses grounding in the important things in life.

That's a struggle with which we're all too familiar, right? BTW, how are your new year's resolutions going?

The deets: Through Jan. 31; Hobby Center for the Performing Arts; tickets start at $25.

Dance Month at the Kaplan Theatre: "Four + Four: A Celebration of Dance Concert"

In a nutshell, "Four + Four" means two programs that spotlight four different dance companies in each performance — do the math — eight all together. Get it? For dance fiends, make plans to attend both evenings to enjoy pieces by NobleMotion Dance, Revolve Dance Company, Urban Souls Dance Company and Uptown Dance Company on Saturday and Chapman Dance, HIStory, Houston Ballet II and MET dance on Sunday.

The show is part of Dance Month at the Kaplan Theatre's 35th anniversary celebration. Arrive 45 minutes before curtain call for a pre-show dance film curated by Ashley Horn.

The deets: Saturday and Sunday; Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center; tickets start at $13.

Context presents "Intimate Encounters: Masters of the French Baroque"

Houston music cognoscenti rush to Context for two reasons: Artistic director, pianist Brian Connelly always curates masterful programs that change listeners' paradigm on what they consider beautiful, performed by virtuosos that offer historically appropriate executions rarely heard on the concert stage.

Count on "Intimate Encounters" to be just that. Paolo Bordignon, who's the harpsichordist of the New York Philharmonic and who holds a bunch of other prestigious posts, shows his skills on two keyboards as he brings to life the music of Couperin, Rameau, Du Phly and daddy Bach.

The deets: Sunday, 4 p.m.; Shepherd School of Music; tickets start at $25.