The Must-Sees of 2016: Classical and Opera from Baroque Unwrapped to Kronos Quartet

The critics’ guide to the hottest tickets of the year ahead

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The Independent Culture


Andrea Chénier

Strange how some operas suddenly find their moment: hot on the heels of the ROH production, Opera North is about to premiere its own version of Giordano’s powerful work. The redoubtable Annabel Arden will direct, tenor Rafael Rojas will play the hero, and Annemarie Kremer will play Maddelena.

19 January to 2 February, Grand Theatre, Leeds

Baroque Unwrapped

This inventive series continues with an  intensive weekend of concerts offering a variety of perspectives on the music of JS  Bach. Oxford Baroque will present motets by Bach and his contemporaries, Fretwork will explore his coevals’ viol music, and  pianist Dan Tepfer will take an off-beat look  at the Goldberg Variations.

11 to 14 February, Kings Place, London


Phelim McDermot and his Improbable Theatre Company have been responsible for some of ENO’s biggest hits in recent years – most notably Philip Glass’s Satyagraha – and this new production of the same composer’s early opera about the mysterious Egyptian pharaoh bodes well; the remarkable countertenor Anthony Roth Constanzo will star.

4 to 18 March, Coliseum, London


Kronos Quartet

This 740-seat performance space in Saffron Walden has suddenly emerged as an important new venue, and the Kronos Quartet are using it to present their latest cross-cultural collaboration – with the Trio da Kali – as well as Steve Reich’s Different Trains, which propelled them to prominence 30 years ago.

14 May, Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden

The Other Classical Musics

This is the first concert in a significant new strand of programming at the Wigmore, which is constantly broadening its scope: the concert’s title is In the footsteps of Babur, and it will consist of the Mughal legacy as purveyed by leading Afghan and Tajik classical virtuosi.

10 March, Wigmore Hall, London