Start with a decorated American soldier, throw in a dash of brainwashing, a few pinches of dastardly schemes plus a beautifully scored opera, and what do you get? The world premiere of The Manchurian Candidate, performed by the Minnesota Opera this month. Based on the novel by Richard Condon, the opera follows soldier Raymond Shaw as he is brainwashed into becoming a ruthless assassin against the U.S. government. Will his fellow soldier be able to stop him before the end of this heart-pounding thriller? Formal opera attire is not required at this performance. $25–$200. Times vary. The Ordway, 345 Washington St., St. Paul; 612.333.6669; mnopera.org.