CLASSICAL: THE FIVE BEST CONCERTS

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The Independent Culture
Candide today

American tenor sensation Michael Slattery makes his UK debut in Leonard Bernstein's philosophical romp. Rumon Gamba conducts, Carla Huhtanen is Cunegonde and Sir Thomas Allen adds a Panglossian voiceover to what is hopefully the best of all possible casts.

RFH, London SE1 (0870 382 8000) 7.30pm

Scottish Ensemble Mon

Clio Gould directs an intriguing programme coupling Britten's early Rimbaud song-cycle Les Illuminations with a Bruckner adagio, Tippett's 1946 Little Music for strings and, as a special Valentine's Day offering, Schoenberg's ravishingly seductive Transfigured Night.

Wigmore Hall, London W1 (020-7935 2141) 7.30pm

La clemenza di Tito Mon & Thur

David McVicar directs ENO's first-ever staging of Mozart's patrician expose of sex and power politics in imperial Rome. Paul Nilon is the emperor, Emma Bell and Sarah Connolly are the chief conspirators and Sally Matthews is the innocent bystander.

London Coliseum, London WC2 (020-7632 8300) 7pm

Paavo Berglund Wed

The Finnish maestro (75 last year) conducts the LPO in his great compatriot Jean Sibelius's Second Symphony, preceded by Beethoven's hyper- dramatic Leonore Overture No 3 and Elgar's autumnal Cello Concerto.

RFH, London SE1 (0870 382 8000) 7.30pm

La traviata Fri

Welsh National Opera launches its inaugural season in its new home, the Wales Millennium Centre, with a revival of Verdi's tragic opera conducted by the company's interim music director, Carlo Rizzi, and with Nuccia Focile as Violetta.

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff (0870 040 2000) 7.15pm

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