The greatest act of musical reclamation to take place in the past 40 years or so may well be the one that returned Handel's operas to the active repertoire. Their melodic riches alone make them worth staging. But, thanks to Handel's early mastery of the theater, these works can still deliver compelling drama.
It isn't always easy to remember that in Washington National Opera's new production of Tamerlano, which opened Wednesday night at the Kennedy Center, hobbled by David Zinn's mostly gray, antiseptic set design and Chas Rader-Schieber's curiously inert direction.
If you go Tamerlano will be performed at 7:30 tonight, 2 p.m. Sunday and three more times through May 22 at the Kennedy Center, at Virginia and New Hampshire avenues Northwest, Washington. $45-$300. Limited availability. Call 800-876-7372 or go to dc-opera.org.