The N.C. Symphony returns to Durham's Carolina Theatre with a program of classical favorites at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22, but the big news--for opera lovers, at least--will surely be Capital Opera Raleigh's season opener, Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore. It's at Meredith College's Jones Auditorium on Sept. 22 and again Sunday afternoon.
Chamber music dominates the rest of the classical calendar this week. The Ciompi Quartet begins its 41st season at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23 in Duke's Reynolds Theatre with Haydn, Shostakovich (in his centennial year) and Brahms' String Sextet in G. Sitting in for the latter are Durham native Nicholas Kitchen, violin, and his other half, cellist Yeesun Kim. For five dollars, hear Shostakovich--with refreshments, remarks by Fred Raimi, and a complete performance of the work--at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21 in Kirby Horton Hall.
A recital by flutist Eldred Spell at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 24 in Meredith's Jones Chapel is the first offering of the Raleigh Area Flute Association. An hour later, the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra's chamber series features David Ashley White's "The Peace of Wild Things" in Meredith's Carswell Concert Hall. And, one hour after that, at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Durham, Nicholas Kitchen's Borromeo String Quartet presents two Beethoven quartets and the local premiere of Lior Navok's "Hope Cycles" (String Quartet No. 2), preceded by remarks from the composer, who is flying from Europe for this concert.
Tuesday brings what looks like a fascinating program of old and new music for baroque oboe and harpsichord, played by Geoffrey Burgess (who was at Duke for a time) and Elaine Funaro. This free concert is in the Chapel at St. Mary's School in Raleigh at 8 p.m.
In addition, there are free films with music by Shostakovich (Sept. 25 and 26 at 7 p.m. in Duke's Richard White Auditorium). The Ciompi Quartet performs at the first of these.
Finally, readers who were friends of Dorothy B. Bone of Durham, who passed away in April at the age of 90, should know that a service in her memory, with music, will be presented in Duke Chapel on Wednesday, Sept. 20, at 2 p.m. Participants include the Ciompi Quartet, the Choral Society of Durham and the Mallarmé Chamber Players.
Friday, Sept. 22
N.C. Symphony, William Henry Curry, conductor. Wagner: Rienzi: Overture; Humperdinck: Hansel und Gretel: excerpts; Grieg:  Symphonic Dances; and Tchaikovsky: Marche slave. Carolina Theatre, Durham. 8 p.m. $36/$21. 733-2750 or ncsymphony.org.
Friday, Sept. 22; Sunday, Sept. 24
Capital Opera Raleigh. Program: Donizetti: L'Elisir d'Amore. Jones Auditorium, Meredith College, Raleigh. Friday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. $20, seniors/students $15. 469-0600.
Saturday, Sept. 23
Ciompi Quartet with Nicholas Kitchen, violin, and Yeesun Kim, cello. Haydn: String Quartet in E-flat; Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 13; and Brahms: String Sextet in G. Reynolds Theater, Bryan Center, Duke University, Durham. 8 p.m. $15, youth $8. 684-4444 or duke.edu/web/dukeperfs/index.html.
Sunday, Sept. 24
Eldred Spell, flute (Western Carolina University), and Lillian Pearson, piano. Gaubert: First Sonata; Basler: Sonata for Flute and Piano; Couperin: Concert Royale No. 4; and Damase: Sonate en Concert. Jones Chapel, Meredith College, Raleigh. 2 p.m. $10. 781-3225 or RaleighFlutes.org. (Masterclass, 3:15 p.m.)
Raleigh Symphony Orchestra Chamber Series. David Ashley White: "The Peace of Wild Things"; and music by Richard Faith, Philip Glass, and Lanette Lind. Carswell Concert Hall, Meredith College, Raleigh. 3 p.m. $15/$10. 546-9755.
Borromeo String Quartet. Beethoven: String Quartets Nos. 4 & 13; and Lior Navok: "Hope Cycles." St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 82 Kimberly Drive, Durham. 4 p.m. Free, donations. 493-5451 or st-stephens-episcopal.org/cass.html.
Tuesday, Sept. 26
Geoffrey Burgess, oboe d'amore, and Elaine Funaro, harpsichord. "Incantations and Inspirations: Old and New Music for Baroque Oboe and Harpsichord." Chapel, St. Mary's School, Raleigh. 8 p.m. Free, donations. 424-4045.
Kent Lyman Launches Steinway Series at Meredith by John W. Lambert
Meredith College has taken a big step up the artistic ladder with the arrival of the school's new Steinway, a gift from Robert H. Lewis. Kent Lyman, the senior piano person at Meredith, displayed the new instrument's attributes in its first public appearance as a solo instrument on Sept. 5. www.cvnc.org/reviews/2006/092006/Lyman.html
Tenor Jason Karn--Home for Some Serious Singing by John W. Lambert
He came home for Donizetti's L'Elisir d'amore, which Capital Opera Raleigh is presenting, but that wasn't enough singing for tenor Jason Karn--or for his fans, many of whom turned out to hear him in a magnificent program given in Duke's Nelson Music Room on Sept. 9. www.cvnc.org/reviews/2006/092006/Karn.html
For information about other fine concerts, see www.cvnc.org/calendar/triangle.html.