Friday-next Sunday: SPCO artistic partner Roberto Abbado may have a hard time getting out from under the shadow of his uncle, the legendary opera conductor Claudio Abbado. But he demonstrates his own operatic prowess with the SPCO season opener, Mozart's "Don Giovanni." Abbado is passionate about the Mozart/Da Ponte operas and lobbied hard for the opportunity to conduct all three. ("Cosi fan tutte" happened in 2006; "Marriage of Figaro" is next.) Plans for a semi-staged performance fell victim to budget constraints, so the focus of this concert will truly be on the music. But combining the SPCO's expertise playing Mozart, Abbado's commitment to the music and a cast of primarily young Italians, most of whom have worked with the conductor in Italy, means that this rendition promises to be revelatory. (7:30 p.m. Fri., 2 p.m. next Sun. $5-$40. Ordway Center for the Arts, 5th and Washington Sts., St. Paul. 651-291-1144.)

WILLIAM RANDALL BEARD