Houston Grand Opera's 24th world premiere is Tod Machover's new opera, Resurrection. The story comes from Leo Tolstoy's final novel of the same name. Prince Dmitry Nekhlyudov is a juror in the trial of a prostitute accused of poisoning one of her clients. It turns out the prostitute, Katerina, is the servant the prince had raped and deserted years ago and whose life he is responsible for ruining. She's wrongly accused but convicted and sent to Siberia. The guilt- and love-stricken prince calls off his engagement, renounces his position and follows Katerina to the prison-wasteland. Now, this is opera, so we can't expect a "happily ever after" main-character marriage in the end. But, in a bold move by Machover, Katerina doesn't die! She chooses to stay in Siberia with the political prisoner she loves. Machover's other operatic innovation is his subtle use of synthesized sounds created by his team at MIT. Resurrection opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. and continues April 25, at 2 p.m., and April 28, May 1, 4 and 7, at 7:30 p.m. Brown Theater, Wortham Theater Center, Texas Avenue at Smith Street. Call (713)227-ARTS for tickets, $20 to $175.
Former Doug Elkins dancer Jane Weiner began working with performers Sophia Torres and Sonia Noriega almost immediately after she moved to Houston from New York several years ago. (You may remember Torres dancing with a bucket on her head at last year's Weekend of Contemporary Texas Dance.) Now the dancers have turned choreographers and formed their own company, Psophonia, a mixture of the letters in their first names. In their debut concert, "Personal Space Invasion," Torres and Noriega will perform on church pews to the sounds of a child reciting Hamlet's soliloquy. Weiner will perform as a guest artist in Mark Dendy's Bessie Award-winning Night Moves and in her own pieces, DeuxTango and Infallible Croquet. Tonight and Saturday, April 24, at 8 p.m. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway, (713)716-4261. $12 at the door; $10 with reservations; $8 for students.
America is far from perfect, of course, but it's a lot more easygoing about its imperfections than it was in, say, the '60s. Where are the sit-ins and the walkouts and the psychedelic drugs, free love and poor hygiene that went with them? These days, rebels have only a couple of causes to choose from: the environment and animal rights. And animals are cuter. So say it loud and say it proud: "Bunny rabbits shouldn't die for smudge-proof mascara!" People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Last Chance for Animals, Houston Animal Rights Team and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine will be protesting for World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week outside M.D. Anderson, Fannin at Holcombe, from noon until 2 p.m. And there just might be some free love. Call the Physicians Committee at (281)997-9019 for more information.
You've fantasized about this moment: Victoria's Secret vixen Stephanie Seymour ... ice skating. But wait, it gets better. Stephanie's skating with supermodel friends Bridget Hall, Kelly Emberg, Ines Rivero, Bonnie Pfeifer, Vendela and Roshumba, and, for as little as $125, you can attempt to ice dance with any one or all of them. These women are DISHES -- Determined Involved Super-role models Helping to End Suffering, the modeling industry's first 501c(3) nonprofit foundation. DISHES on Ice benefits pediatric AIDS organizations such as Camp Hope, Texas's only camp for HIV-positive children. If you really want to help the pretty people in their worthy cause, buy the $1,000 ticket for two. This gets you what the fashion world calls "priority access" and a postskate party at Planet Hollywood. 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Galleria Ice Rink, 5015 Westheimer. Call AIDS Foundation Houston at (713)623-6796 for tickets.
Gerald and Sara Murphy were at the beautiful and luxurious center of the art world of all art worlds: 1920s Paris. They entertained Stravinsky, Beckett, Balanchine, Man Ray, Miró and Isadora Duncan. They were the real-life inspiration for F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender Is the Night, Ernest Hemingway's Snows of Kilimanjaro and John Dos Passos's Big Money. They were even involved in a love triangle with Pablo Picasso. Gerald threw magical parties, and Sara wore pearls to the beach in a fairy-tale existence that, of course, couldn't last. "It is not the first telling of the tale," said The New York Times Book Review of Amanda Vaill's Murphy biography, Everybody Was So Young, "but it is the most important." Vaill presents an illustrated discussion of her latest book at 7 p.m. Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet. Call (713)523-0701 or go to www.brazosbookstore.com for more information. Free.