FRIDAY 1/3. Pulaski Heights Methodist Church, 4823 Woodlawn Drive. 7:30 p.m. Free; $15 suggested donation.
Wont as we all are to let the Gods of Retail tell us where to focus our energies each December, art tends to steer us in another, more contemplative, direction. Take, for one, the solemn plot twist in O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi,” rendered in 1997 by composer David Conte and librettist Nicholas Giardini as a chamber opera for seven voices. Here, Opera in the Rock presents Conte’s version of the love story with admission donations benefiting the company’s forthcoming performances and outreach programming. Cast members include Kyle Forehand as Jim, Shannon Rookey as Della, Sarah Stankiewicz-Dailey as Maggie and Daniel Morris as Henry. A family-friendly event, “Meet the Kings! Family Fun,” precedes the opera in the church’s Gathering Hall, with stations for crown-making and cookie-decorating, plus an opportunity to meet the titular “magi” (pictured).
RSVP for childcare during the show by calling 501-664-3600, and see oitr.org or call 501-681-9640 for tickets.