Opening: Minnesota Opera closes its 50th anniversary season with Puccini's popular work — which was completed after his death. Russian soprano Irina Rindzuner makes her Minnesota debut as the cold, proud princess who holds suitors at bay with challenging tests. Rindzuner will alternate with Helen Todd ("Nixon in China"). As the prince who matches the princess' caprice are tenors Adam Laurence Herskowitz and Scott Piper. Director Renaud Doucet has created a new production, and music director Michael Christie will be in the pit. An interesting sidelight to the season ender: Singing the emperor is Vern Sutton, who sang in the first production of what was then Center Opera, Dominick Argento's "The Masque of Angels," in 1963. (7:30 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. next Sun. $20-$200. Ordway Center, 5th and Washington Sts., St. Paul. Ends April 21. 612-333-6669, or www.mnopera.org.)

Graydon Royce