Travel: Global Agenda

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The Independent Culture

If you missed out on Mervyn Peake's counter-culture trilogy Gormenghast in the Sixties, you've another chance to catch it in musical form in this spring: Irmin Schmidt, founder of the avant-garde rock group CAN, has written a fantasy opera based on the trilogy, with a libretto by the English novelist Duncan Fallowell. Commissioned by the Wuppertal Opera, who premiered it last November, the three-act work is performed in English and tells of the rise and fall of Steerpike, a clever and charming kitchen boy who machinates his way to becoming the murderous tyrant of Gormenghast Castle.

Schillertheater NRW, Musiktheater , Kennedyplatz, , Germany (00 49 209 409 7200) to end of June, DM12-DM48


With a mission to "inspire, educate, entertain and empower" New England's Dance Umbrella company has brought some of the best contemporary dance from around the world to auditoriums in the region. Two highlights of the 1998-1999 season are Mark Morris's annual visit - with accompaniment from the world-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma this year - and Furioso, an evening- length work by Meryl Tankard, a former principal dancer with Pina Bausch's Tanztheater Wuppertal, who has been artistic director of the Australian Dance Theatre since 1993.

Various venues, Boston, MA, USA (00 1 617 824 8000) Mark Morris and Yo- Yo Ma, today and tomorrow; Meryl Tankard Australian Dance Company, 11- 14 March, $23-$45


To mark the centenary of the first exhibition by the Viennese Secessionists, the Fondazione Antonio Mazzotta has organised "Gustav Klimt and the Origins of the Wiener Secession", a show that celebrates the work of those artists who revolted against what they saw as the conservative and constraining style of the time. As well as some 80 works by Klimt himself, there are nearly 200 works by such artists as Kolo Moser and Ferdinand Andri - plus works by some of the guest artists the Secessionists invited to participate in their shows, such as Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh and Gauguin.

Fondazione Antonio Mazzotta, 50 Foro Buonaparte, Milan, Italy (00 39 0287 8197) to 16 May, L12,000


The American video artist Bill Viola has consistently broken new ground with his tapes and installations, with many of his pieces being snapped up by museums around the world. Frankfurt has collated 25 of Viola's videotapes and 16 of his installations for this retrospective of 25 years' worth of his work, locating them at sites which have been selected because of their political, social or cultural significance. An added bonus is that all of the venues are within 10 minutes' walk of each other, giving a visitor to the city the perfect excuse for a foot-friendly museum-sightseeing tour.

Various venues, Frankfurt, Germany (00 49 69 212 37953) to 25 April, DM8-DM12