1 Prom 29: Khovanshchina
The second of this year’s Proms operas-in-concert is the less well-known of Mussorgsky’s pair of stage masterpieces. One may need a primer in Russian history to understand the plot of his “national music drama” Khovanshchina fully, but it’s a score full of glorious, soaring melodic invention. Ante Jerkunica and Christopher Ventris head the cast.
Royal Albert Hall, SW7, 6 August
From a musical point of view, this year’s Edinburgh international festival is a lacklustre affair, short on anything genuinely innovative. There is no substantial new music at all, just a new production of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s first opera, based upon Steven Berkoff’s East End retelling of the Oedipus legend, which received its UK premiere at the festival 29 years ago. Directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins and conducted by Stuart Stratford, with Alex Otterburn as Eddy, the staging is a joint undertaking between Scottish Opera and the new company Opera Ventures.
Edinburgh Festival theatre, 5-6 August
3 Prom 32: Brian Elias’s Cello Concerto
New concertos seem to be featuring prominently at the Albert Hall this summer. After Pascal Dusapin’s Outscape, his work for cello and orchestra, and Julian Anderson’s work for piano, The Imaginary Museum, this week sees the first performance of Brian Elias’s BBC commission, which he calls simply a cello concerto, promising a “dream-like music narrative”. The premiere, with Natalie Clein as the soloist, is the centrepiece of an all-British programme conducted by Ryan Wigglesworth that begins with Britten and ends with Elgar.
Royal Albert Hall, SW7, 9 August