Coming soon in classical: Big things by Britten, Strauss and Verdi


Benjamin Britten dominates programming in the weeks before the centenary of his birth next month. This Saturday, at the Royal Festival Hall, Vladimir Jurowski conducts the London Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra in the War Requiem. Soloists include quintessential Britten tenor Ian Bostridge.

The Barbican Centre Britten fortnight in London also features Bostridge in the biting song  cycle Our Hunting Fathers  (8 Nov) and as the Madwoman in the haunting parable Curlew River at St Giles, Cripplegate (15 & 16 Nov). On Remembrance Sunday (10 Nov) the War Requiem is sung again, at the Royal Albert Hall, Semyon Bychkov conducting the BBCSO.

Be among the first audiences at London’s newest concert venue, Milton Court Hall, where Endymion’s all-American programme includes Steve Reich’s Desert Music (15 Oct). Reich himself performs at the Royal Festival Hall (10 Nov), Clapping Music and Music for 18 Musicians among the items.

Opera lovers’ bookmarked new productions include Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, just opened at English National Opera, Christopher Alden directing, and Donizetti’s Elizabethan drama Roberto Devereux, Welsh National Opera touring nationwide (until 29 Nov) after a second performance in Cardiff tonight.

Verdi’s Les Vepres siciliennes is performed for the first time at the Royal Opera House from 17 October, and Opera North’s Death in Venice, with Alan Oke as Aschenbach, tours until 14 November after opening in Leeds (17 Oct).

After her Last Night of the Proms triumph, Marin Alsop brings her Sao Paolo Symphony Orchestra to London’s Royal Festival Hall, (25 Oct), Swingle Singers guesting, and the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester (27 Oct). The dynamic Symphonic Dances from Bernstein’s West Side Story are played both nights.