Opera & concerts

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Edinburgh Festival (031-225 5756, from today). The assault begins, with Janacek and Schubert tonight at the Usher Hall, Scottish Opera's new I Due Foscari at the King's Theatre tomorrow, and a crash course in James MacMillan, Tues.

Takemitsu at the Proms (Albert Hall, 071-589 1212, tonight). British premiere of From Me Flows What You Call Time, a recent score for orchestra and five percussionists which the composer classifies as 'prayerful'.

The Cave (RFH, 071-928 8800, from Wed). Hi-tech music theatre from Steve Reich, who recasts the biblical epic of Abraham and his descendants for singers, instrumentalists and a wailing wall of videos. Michael White


The Cenci (Lyric, Hammersmith, 081- 741 2311, previews Wed, opens Thurs). Shelley's only complete stage play examines the power of a father over his daughter in 16th-century Italy.

Hot Stuff (Cambridge, 071-494 5040, opens Tues). Paul Kerryson's Seventies musical arrives in the West End.

Elvira '40 (Minerva, Chichester, 0243 781312, previews Wed, opens Fri). First English performance of Brigitte Jaques's story of an illustrious French actor and his eager, inexperienced student, set in wartime Paris.

An Inspector Calls (Aldwych, 071-836 6404, previews Sat, opens 25 Aug). Stephen Daldry's groundbreaking revival transfers from the National, complete with Kenneth Cranham. Jane Duncan


Jason Rebello Trio (Vortex Jazz Bar, N16, 071-254 6516, tonight). Witty, formally precise pianist takes a well-

deserved rest from heavy-duty fusion.

Gary Meek Quartet (Ronnie Scott's, 071-439 0747, tomorrow to Sat). Airto and Flora Purim's astonishingly versatile sax, flute and keyboards player returns to the club with his own band.

Wynton Marsalis Band (Albert Hall, 071-589 1212, Thurs). Late-night Prom by the man who helped return Louis Armstrong's slurs, moans and gutbucket growls to contemporary jazz trumpet.

The Littledown Jazz Festival (Littledown Centre, Bournemouth, 0202 422200, Sat). All-dayer featuring Courtney Pine, Stan Tracey, George Melly, Tommy Smith and the brilliant Barbara Dennerlein. Phil Johnson


Sean Hughes (Queen's, Edinburgh, 031-668 2019, 25 to 28 Aug). Fans of the silver-tongued comedian, and admirers of his article in last week's Sunday Review, will be glad to hear that he is taking his one-man show north for the Festival. Anne Dalgleish


World in the Park (Bath Victoria Park, 0272 299008, today, pounds 20). Bizarre Womad bill, with Gary Glitter and Midge Ure at the top, Nigerian big- band supremo Chief Dr Bannister in the middle and the great pianist Johnnie Johnson near the bottom.

Iggy Pop (London Forum, 071-284 2200, Tues & Wed; Nottingham Rock City, 0602 483456, Fri; Glasgow Barrowlands, 041-226 4679, Sat). The grand old man of punk returns. That he should still be alive is impressive, but kicking too - it's miraculous.

Off the Street (Leeds Town & Country, 0532 800100, Sat). This benefit for the homeless boasts a terrifying line-up of local goth luminaries, including the Mission, Andrew Eldritch and Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. Utah Saints supply disco relief. Ben Thompson


Ballroom Blitz (RFH, Ballroom level, free). Ballroom day today with a workshop at 6.30pm and performance by the Penge ballroom team at 9pm.

Antonio Vargas Flamenco Dance (QEH, 071-928 8800, Fri & Sat). The man who played the domineering father in Strictly Ballroom presents Al Andalus, a tale of conflict between Spanish gypsies and the Moors.

The Featherstonehaughs (Queens Walkway, in front of RFH, free, Fri & Sat, 9.30pm). Part silly, part serious, Immaculate Conception is a head-on collision between Renaissance art and film noir. Part of the Great Outdoors festival. Anne Sacks


St Ives 1940-60 (Austin/Desmond and Phipps, 071-242 4443, to 17 Sept). Why go all the way to the new museum? Excellent selection of 26 Cornish artists including Berlin, Feiler, Frost, Hepworth, Heron, Hilton, Lanyon, Nicholson, Wallis, Wood and Wynter.

Ivor Davies (Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, 0225 461111, to 11 Sept). Recent works by the Welsh artist whose Surrealist-influenced gardens and interiors have brought him an international following. Tim Hilton