2013 classical and opera preview: Lulu in Wales and Disney at the ENO

David Pountney directs Berg's opera about the doomed femme fatale for WNO while Philip Glass's opera about Walt Disney receives its British premiere

The Rest Is Noise

Beginning with Richard Strauss's Salome and ending with John Adams's El Niño, the Southbank Centre's year-long, all-embracing festival of 20th-century music involves all the venue's resident orchestras and ensembles, with films, lectures and online projects placing the music in its social, scientific and historical context. Southbank Centre, London SE1 (southbankcentre.co.uk), 19 January to 14 December.


Seductress. Killer. Prostitute. Murder victim. New productions of the opera Alban Berg left unfinished are always special events, and this one marks the real start of David Pountney's regime as Welsh National Opera's artistic director. It's directed by Pountney himself and conducted by Lothar Koenigs, with Marie Arnet as Lulu, Ashley Holland as Dr Schoen and Natascha Petrinsky as Countess Geschwitz. Millennium Centre, Cardiff (wmc.org.uk), 8, 16 and 23 February; then touring (wno.org.uk).

The Perfect American

ENO stages the British premiere of Philip Glass's latest opera, based on Peter Stephan Jungk's novel about the final years of Walt Disney's life. It's directed by Phelim McDermott, who was responsible for the outstanding production of Glass's Satyagraha (sung in Sanskrit) at the Coliseum in 2007. Christopher Purves is Disney, Janis Kelly his nurse confidante. Coliseum, London WC2 (eno.org), 1-28 June.

Aldeburgh celebrates Britten

The festival started by the great composer is the focal point of his centenary celebrations. As well as a cycle of the church parables in Orford and performances of Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh beach, there are premieres of six major commissions, from Harrison Birtwistle, Magnus Lindberg, Wolfgang Rihm, Richard Rodney Bennett, Poul Ruders and Judith Weir. Various Aldeburgh venues (aldeburgh.co.uk), 7-23 June.

Der Ring des Nibelungen

The centrepiece of the celebration of the Wagner bicentenary at next summer's Proms is a Ring in concert. Daniel Barenboim brings the Berlin Staatsoper and its superb orchestra, the Staatskapelle, to London. Royal Albert Hall, London SW7 (bbc.co.uk/proms), 22, 23, 25 and 28 July.

Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra

As their visit to the 2012 Proms demonstrated, with Riccardo Chailly as music director the Leipzig Gewandhaus has established itself as one of the world's greatest orchestras. Their next Barbican residency together will be devoted to Brahms, with performances of all the symphonies and the four concertos spread across four programmes. Barbican, London EC2 (barbican.org.uk), 22, 23, 29 and 30 October.


Andrew Clements

The GuardianTramp

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