The Sunday Preview: Opera & Concerts

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The Independent Culture
London Sinfonietta 'Happy Returns' (QEH, 071-928 8800, Tues). First in a series that marks the Sinfonietta's silver jubilee with some of the commissions it has dispensed en route.

Simon Rattle Conducts Wagner (Birmingham Symphony Hall, 021-212 3333, Tues & Wed). Act 1 of Die Walkure with the CBSO, and Rita Hunter reliving former glory.

Julius Caesar (Glasgow Theatre Royal, 041-332 9000, from Wed). New production of what is arguably the greatest - but still rarely staged - Handel opera, awash with countertenors and cross-dressing and all the better for it. Willy Decker directs.

Wexford Opera Festival (010 353-53 22144, from Thurs). The Irish Glyndebourne (of sorts) with its annual curiosities. This year: Mascagni's Piccolo Marat, Storace's Comedy of Errors, Marschner's Der Vampyr.

Otello (Covent Garden, 071-240 1066, from Fri). Grand revival (Elijah Moshinsky), glamour cast (Domingo, Te Kanawa) and Solti in the pit.

Britten/Weill Festival (The Maltings, Snape, 0728 453543, Thurs to Sun). Not an obvious combination, but the programmes in this intriguing Aldeburgh-out-of-season minifest may prove otherwise.

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