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Critic’s picks: Classical music

Photos by Dina Rudick/Globe staff

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BOSTON EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL: ‘Almira’ This year’s festival opens on June 9 with a new production of Handel’s rarely spotted first opera, “Almira,” written at age 19. Gilbert Blin directs the period staging and Ulrike Hofbauer sings the title role, with a cast that includes Amanda Forsythe and Colin Balzer. Pictured (from top): Almira understudy Valerie Vinzant, and BEMF artistic co-directors Paul O’Dette (left) and Stephen Stubbs. June 9-16. Cutler Majestic Theatre. 617-661-1812, www.bemf.org

‘ALEKO’ The Commonwealth Lyric Theater, formerly known as Boston Vocal Arts Studio, offers four staged performances of Rachmaninoff’s first opera, “Aleko,” with two casts rotating under the baton of Lidiya Yankovskaya. June 9-13. Center Makor in Brighton. 857-284-9982, www.commonwealthlyrictheater.com

EMMA KIRKBY + PAUL O’DETTE The Boston Early Music Festival’s enticing slate of Jordan Hall concerts this year includes a recital by the British soprano Emma Kirkby, a widely admired early music pioneer. She will perform music of John Dowland, partnered on lute by the eloquent Paul O’Dette. June 11, 8 p.m. 617-661-1812, www.bemf.org JEREMY EICHLER

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