Stillwater star

Tenor Jack Swanson is from Stillwater, and is just 27. But he has already sung at major opera companies such as Glyndebourne and the Los Angeles Opera, and is being hailed as one of the most exciting young singers in the country. (You can read about him in Wednesday's Variety section.) He returns to his hometown for a free outdoor concert titled "Opera on the River," the inaugural production of Operatunity Theatre, a new company aiming to build "a nationally recognized music festival" in the Stillwater area. Arrive early to grab a plum spot by the St. Croix River. (7 p.m. Sat., Lowell Park, Stillwater, free, ­

An Irish icon

A virtuoso on the Gaelic harp, St. Paul-based musician Chad McAnally leads a Twin Cities Early Music Festival concert exploring music by the blind 18th-century harpist Turlough O'Carolan. Widely viewed as Ireland's national composer, O'Carolan mixes jauntiness and melancholy in music of alluring beauty. (6 p.m. Thu., St. Paul Conservatory, St. Paul, $5-$20, ­

Rising conductor

New Zealander Gemma New is one of the fastest rising stars on the conducting circuit. Although just 32, she has already worked with many of America's leading orchestras. She makes her debut at the Lakes Area Music Festival in Brainerd, Minn., this week in a program including a new violin concerto by Twin Cities-based Venezuelan composer Reinaldo Moya. Dutch dance company House of Makers is also featured, performing new choreography to John Adams' classic orchestral piece "Shaker Loops." Stravinsky's "Danses Concertantes" completes a fascinating concert. (7:30 p.m. Sat. & 2 p.m. Sun., Tornstrom Auditorium, Brainerd, free,

Cue the baroque

Lyra Baroque kicks off its 35th season with a concert featuring Pedro Gandía Martín, a violinist with extensive experience on the early music circuit. Works by Vivaldi, Muffat, Marcello, Bach and Caldara feature in a program focusing on the Italian influence in baroque music, led from the harpsichord by Jacques Ogg. (7:30 p.m. Fri., Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Rochester; 7:30 p.m. Sat., Sundin Hall, Hamline University, St. Paul, $5-$30,

Sousa a la mode

The 1st John Philip Sousa Memorial Band specializes in the music of America's march king, and its annual Torchlight Concert rolls back the decades with 25-cent ice cream cones and 5-cent balloons available to purchase. A magician, an Italian organ grinder and pennyfarthing bicycles are also on offer. (8.30 p.m. Sun., Centennial Lakes Park, Edina, free,