The arts in 1999: Classical
Sunday 03 January 1999
On the London fringe, the Lyric Hammersmith's efforts to realise the implication of its name continue with the long-overdue English premiere (from January) of Vanessa, chief product of the long emotional/artistic partnership between Samuel Barber and Giancarlo Menotti. Outside London, WNO have a new Peter Grimes (from February) which marks the return of one of the world's most eminent directors, Peter Stein, to Cardiff. Scottish Opera have a rarity in Delius's The Magic Fountain, from February.
For concert-goers, you're in luck if you like Haydn (who gets all 69 of his quartets played in a festival, January, at the RNCM, Manchester); Messiaen (subject of this year's BBCSO residency at the Barbican, January); Poulenc (whose centenary is the occasion for events throughout January and February); Rachmaninov (a three-week focus at the Festival Hall, from May, led by Ashkenazy); and Berlioz (a South Bank mini-fest under Valery Gergiev, May).
Soprano-fanciers will want to know that Cecilia Bartoli, arguably the hottest property in the business, appears at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, in January. But chief curiosity of the forthcoming season: Peter Sellars's staging of three Bach cantatas at the Barbican in April.
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