8 p.m. (also Oct. 18 and 21). Belk Theater, 130 N. Tryon St. $15-$140. 704-372-1000.
Opera Carolina opens its season with Puccini’s thriller about an opera diva whose love affair with a painter is torn asunder by an evil police chief who’s smitten with her.
Ciao, Italia! Festival
11 a.m.-7 p.m. St. Matthew Catholic Church Education Center, 8015 Ballantyne Commons Parkway. $3; kids 12 and younger get in free. www.italian-club-charlotte.org.
Italian food, pastries, wine, beer and a variety of music and entertainment, including children’s activities and games, trackless train ride, pizza-eating contest and cooking demonstrations.
8 p.m. Theatre Charlotte, 501 Queens Road. $10 in advance; $15 at the door. www.planetimprov.com.
The company celebrates its fifth anniversary with a “comedy improv musical variety extravaganza.”
Trails for Tails 5K
8 a.m. U.S. National Whitewater Center, 5000 Whitewater Center Parkway. $30 for the 5K; $5 per carload to park. www.trailsfortails5k.com.
In addition to the 5K trail run, there will be a 1-mile Dog Walk for dogs and their owners (day-of registration is $18). Proceeds will help with the costs associated with the care of rescued dogs awaiting placement in loving homes.