This week, there are oodles of holiday pops concerts and end-of-semester college- and university-based ensemble offerings; see CVNC's calendar at cvnc.org/calendar/triangle.html for details.
Otherwise, there's an evening of French opera in Carswell Hall on Thursday, Nov. 30, put on by Meredith College's Opera Theatre and guests including Jennifer Seiger, Jonathan Blalock, Carl Halperin, Robert Chapman and Bob Dey. Risa Poniros and Ellen Williams are among the directors, and the 7 p.m. program is free.
Friday brings a flock of fine keyboardists—Elaine Funaro, Randall Love, Robert Parkins, Alexander Silbiger, Andrew Willis (UNCG), James Fogle (Meredith), Frank Pittman (Meredith), John Santoianni, Benjamin Ward and Elizabeth Tomlin—to Duke's Biddle Music Building for "Scarlathon," part of a worldwide observation that anticipates the 250th anniversary of Domenico Scarlatti's death. This free four-hour program starts at 5 p.m.; attendees can come and go ad lib.
UNC Baroque Ensembles host counter-tenor Jonas Laughlin, who studied in Chapel Hill, in music composed by Handel for the famous castrato known as Farinelli. These free concerts are in the Ackland Museum of Art on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 2 and 3, at 2 p.m.
Duke hosts guests on Saturday: The Borealis String Quartet from Canada plays in Reynolds Theatre at 8 p.m., and the famous Bulgarian women's chorus Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares appears concurrently in Page Auditorium. Tickets for these run up to $25.
Finally, we also recommend two non-pops holiday or seasonal events. Duke's celebrated, note-complete Messiah will be given in the Chapel by four outstanding soloists—Mary Wilson, Margaret Bragle, William Hite and Jason McKinney—with the Chapel Choir and Orchestra Pro Cantores under the direction of Rodney Wynkoop on Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.; tickets are $15, students $5. And Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors receives its annual airing courtesy of Long Leaf Opera at the Durham Arts Council on Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. (with repeats next weekend in Chapel Hill); tickets are $20, children $10.