Weekly music agenda: European opera houses open their doors

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The Independent Culture

On May 8 and 9, more than 100 opera houses in 22 countries will offer free tours, performances, and family programs as part of European Opera Days, an annual event intended to facilitate discovery of the art of opera.

Met Opera Live in HD: Renée Fleming in Rossini's 'Armida'
May 1

On May 1 at 1:00pm EST, the Met Opera will present its final Live in HD broadcast of the 2009-10 season, transmitting Rossini's Armida live via satellite to more than 1,000 theaters in 40 countries. Superstar soprano Renée Fleming performs the title role in a new production by Tony Award-winner Mary Zimmerman. Intermission features will include live backstage interviews with performers and a preview of the 2010-11 Live in HD season.

Barbra Streisand's one-night return to cabaret on DVD
May 4

A recording of Barbra Streisand's first cabaret performance in 48 years is due to be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on May 4. One Night Only documents Streisand's September 26, 2009 concert at New York's Village Vanguard, which celebrated the release of Love Is The Answer, the singer's ninth number-one album on the Billboard 200 and her 51st gold album in the US. The DVD and Blu-ray disc includes a bonus feature on the Village Vanguard and its owner, Lorraine Gordon.

European Opera Days
May 8-9

European Opera Days is an annual event during which opera houses throughout Europe open their doors to the public for various free events and programs. Participating in the fourth edition will be more than 100 opera houses in 22 European countries. Among companies taking part are the Opéra National de Paris, which will open its two theaters to the public; the Hungarian State Opera, offering guided building tours; and the Royal Danish Opera, featuring several free matinee concerts.

Rolling Stones' 'Exile on Main Street,' 'Stones in Exile'
May 17/18

The Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street is set to be reissued with ten previously unheard tracks. New songs on the deluxe edition include "Plundered My Soul," which is currently available for download, as well as "Dancing in the Light," "Following the River," "Pass The Wine," and alternate versions of "Soul Survivor" and "Loving Cup." Accompanying a super deluxe edition is the documentary Stones in Exile, which will also air on US network television and through BBC Worldwide.

LCD Soundsystem's 'This is Happening'

May 17/18

This is Happening is the third album by New York dance-punk band LCD Soundsystem, the most recent since 2007's Sound of Silver. The group has seen considerable success with the release of its first two albums, both of which have reached the top 40 on the UK Albums Chart; the forthcoming album is rumored to be its last. The band has been drumming up support for the new release at performances in New York and at the Coachella Festival, and now with an extensive world tour. The nine-track album can be previewed at the band's website.

Stars of the White Nights
May 21 - July 21
Saint Petersburg, Russia

For two months, Saint Petersburg will host the 18th Stars of the White Nights Music Festival, held annually during the season of the midnight sun. The festival will present more than 90 operas, ballets, symphonic and chamber concerts, and solo performances. Ensembles include the Seoul Philharmonic led by Myung Whun-Chung, Simon Bolivar Youth Symphony led by Gustavo Dudamel, Moscow Soloists, Polish National Ballet, and Vienna Philharmonic, while soloists include sopranos Nathalie Dessay and Maria Guleghina, violinists Nikolaj Znaider and Leonidas Kavakos, pianists Yundi Li and Hélène Grimaud, and actor John Malkovich. Because of high demand, tickets often sell out weeks or months in advance.

Sting begins international orchestra tour
June 2

Sting will embark on a world tour this summer with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, beginning in early June with more than three dozen shows in the US and Canada, followed by yet-to-be-announced performances in the UK and continental Europe. The tour will see Sting perform his best-known songs in orchestra arrangement, including Police songs and music from the artist's solo career: Sting has won 16 Grammy Awards and sold nearly 100 million records worldwide. He has explored classical music crossovers with his albums Songs from the Labyrinth (2006) and If On A Winter's Night... (2009), and has also collaborated with the Chicago Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

'U2360° At The Rose Bowl'

June 3/7

As US's epic 360° Tour continues, the band is set to release At The Rose Bowl, documenting a performance in Pasadena, California that took place on October 25, 2009, as part of that tour. The performance was the band's biggest show of 2009 and U2's biggest-ever US show, the concert was also streamed via YouTube, pulling in more than 10 million views in one week. In addition to a standard DVD format, U2360° At The Rose Bowl will be available as a 2-disc deluxe edition and on Blu-ray; the deluxe format and Blu-ray will include a new documentary called Squaring the Circle: Creating U2360°.