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Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — Oscar shorts & ballet in the buff included

Weekly guide to Houston: Don't-miss events — ballet in buff included

Houston Ballet, Cullen Series
Houston Ballet Cullen Series presents Alberta Ballet in Love Lies Bleeding. Photo by JJ Thompson
Asia Society Texas Center presents Akiko Sakurai in "The World of Heike Monogatari"
Discover the mystique of medieval Japanese music with biwa virtuoso Akiko Sakurai. Courtesy photo
Houston Grand Opera presents The Magic Flute
Houston Grand Opera presents The Magic Flute. Photo by Lynn Lane
Maestro Eiki Isomura
Interim maestro Eiki Isomura, the orchestra director of Lone Star College–Montgomery, leads Opera in the Heights' La clemenza di Tito. Courtesy photo
Oscar Nominees screening: Documentary Short Subject
See the films nominated in the category of Documentary Short Subject at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Courtesy photo
Houston Ballet, Cullen Series
Asia Society Texas Center presents Akiko Sakurai in "The World of Heike Monogatari"
Houston Grand Opera presents The Magic Flute
Maestro Eiki Isomura
Oscar Nominees screening: Documentary Short Subject

On tap this week is dramatic opera, a narcissistic bitch, unknown Oscar movie screenings, Japanese medieval music and a contemporary ballet with tunes by one of the most iconic legends in the music industry.

Opera in the Heights presents Mozart's La clemenza di Tito

It's no secret that Opera in the Heights has had its share of turmoil with the abrupt dismissal of maestro Enrique Carreón-Robledo plus allegations of financial struggles that have left some vendors awaiting payment. That's what makes this show of particular interest. That is how interim maestro Eiki Isomura, who's the orchestra director of Lone Star College–Montgomery, has managed to keep this production together amid a scandalous revolving door of arrivals and departures.

It could be a complete disaster. Or the players may feel as though they have something to prove and give it their all.

The deets: Friday through Feb. 8; Lambert Hall; tickets start at $15.

Houston Grand Opera presents The Magic Flute

She may be a total narcissistic bitch, but we can't help being enchanted by the musical antics of the Queen of the Night. Because the coloratura writing is that hypnotizing and delicious at the same time. Given the vocal and thespian prowess of Kathryn Lewek, I'll be holding my breath until she unleashes vengeance upon my ears. The rest of the cast is pretty spectacular, too.

The deets: Friday through Feb. 14; Wortham Theater Center; tickets start at $18.

Oscar Nominees screening: Documentary Short Subject

While most of us are familiar with nominees for best picture and actor and actress in leading and supporting roles, Oscar nominated documentary shorts aren't as familiar to movie buffs. Feel like the smartest film guru in the room by getting to know these gems ahead of the silver screen blitz on Feb. 22.  

The deets: Saturday and selected dates through Feb. 21; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; $9 general public.

Asia Society Texas Center presents Akiko Sakurai in "The World of Heike Monogatari"

Everyone knows Houston is a mecca for early music thanks to presenters such as Ars Lyrica, Mercury, Houston Early Music and Bach Society Houston (aside: mark your calendars for the 2015 Houston Early Music Festival next week). But when it comes to period music from other cultures, opportunities are few and far between.

So carpe diem and discover the mystique of medieval Japanese music in this Asia Society Texas Center concert that features biwa (Japanese fretted lute) virtuoso Akiko Sakurai

The deets: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Asia Society Texas Cente; free with reservations.

Houston Ballet Cullen Series presents Alberta Ballet in Love Lies Bleeding

Parental advisory: this show has explicit content. You know what that means: Sign me up.

Without departing from the refinement of years and years of training, the Alberta Ballet, hosted by the Houston Ballet as part of the Cullen Series, brings this pop rock oeuvre set against the music of Elton John and his partner in crime Bernie Taupin. The 14 hit songs tell a dramatic story of passion, love and the trials and tribulations of achieving fame.

The deets: Friday through Sunday; Wortham Theater Center; tickets start at $40.