THE LUCK OF THE IRISH
Experience Irish culture to the fullest this weekend at the 31st annual Maryland Irish Festival. See live performances from nationally recognized Celtic musical groups, including James Gallagher and Off the Boat, Seven Nations, Barleyjuice and Eileen Ivers; watch Irish dance performances from local Irish dance schools and take Irish step-dancing lessons; or get a taste of Ireland with traditional Irish dishes, including Irish stew, fish and chips, and corned beef.
The festival is 9 a.m.-11 p.m. tomorrow, noon-11 p.m. Saturday and 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Timonium. Admission is $10, $7 for ages 65 and older, $5 for ages 12 to 17 and free for children 12 and younger. Information: go to irishfestival.com.
THE ROYAL TREATMENT
The sad tale of Mary Stuart, the Catholic queen of Scots, and the death warrant issued by her Protestant cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, have generated many a book, some fine films and a great bel canto opera -- Donizetti's Maria Stuarda. That 1835 work, which ranks among the composer's most compelling efforts, returns this week to the repertoire of the Baltimore Opera Company after an absence of more than 30 years.
The title role provides quite a vehicle for a soprano's vocal skills and theatrical instincts. Among the eminent artists who enjoyed particular triumphs in that role were Beverly Sills and Joan Sutherland. For the Baltimore production, Austrian soprano Gabriele Fontana will appear as Maria, with Argentine soprano Fabiana Bravo as Elisabetta and American tenor Gregory Kunde as Leicester.
Show times for "Maria Stuarda" are 8:15 p.m. Saturday and Nov. 16, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and 3 p.m. Nov. 18 at Lyric Opera House, 110 W. Mount Royal Ave. Tickets are $46-$132. Information: Call 410-727-6000 or go to baltimoreopera.com.
BLACK PANTHER EXHIBIT
Gain new insight into the Black Panther Party, a controversial yet influential black organization founded in the late 1960s to promote civil rights and self-defense, at the traveling exhibition Black Panther Rank and File, which is at the Maryland Institute College of Art today through Dec. 16. Attend an opening reception, two symposiums that detail the struggle and historical dialogue of the Black Panther Party and a slide lecture by artist Emory Douglas.
The exhibit's opening reception is 5 p.m.-7 p.m. today; the two symposiums are 2 p.m.-5 p.m. and 7 p.m.-10 p.m. tomorrow; and the slide lecture is noon Monday. All events are at Brown Center's Falvey Hall, 1301 Mount Royal Ave. Free. Information: Call 410-225-2280 or go to www.mica.edu.