Dawn Upshaw & eighth blackbird

Dawn Upshaw can sing anything. Worship her.

Reflecting his own polyglot heritage, composer Osvaldo Golijov in his song-cycle Ayre draws on musical influences from southern Spain, crossroads of the Christian, Arab, and Jewish worlds (or at least it was before the Inquisition). Ethereal lullabies and aching laments surround the irresistibly churning third movement, “Walls are encircling the land,” based on a Sardinian revolutionary song circa 1800. Here Golijov further mixes into the stew a dance-pop beat and a furious accordion line; call it Cajun techno. Long a collaborator with the composer, soprano Dawn Upshaw leaps in fearlessly with a nasal snarl, doing things with her voice that no other singer known for her Mozart would dare, proving once again she is the coolest soprano in the world. And you can here her live tonight, performing Ayre with new-music ensemble eighth blackbird as well as music by George Crumb and Stephen Hartke. It’ll be the vocal recital of the year; there will not even be a close second. Benaroya Hall, Third Avenue and Union Street, 215-4747, www.seattlesymphony.org. $15-$65. 8 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERT

Fri., Feb. 29, 8 p.m., 2008

 
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