La Bohème and Sukanya: this week’s best UK classical concerts

Puccini’s tear-jerker is transplanted to the flea markets of Paris, while Ravi Shankar’s posthumously completed opera gets its world premiere in Leicester

1 Total Immersion: Varèse

There aren’t many great composers whose works would fit comfortably into a single day of concerts, but Edgard Varèse is one of them. Between them, the Guildhall New Music Ensemble and the BBC Symphony Orchestra perform almost all of his pieces.
Barbican Hall; Milton Court Concert Hall; Cinema 2 & Fountain Room, EC2, 6 May

2 La Bohème

Puccini’s tear-jerker is transplanted to the flea markets of Paris for this makeover from director Renaud Doucet and designer André Barbe. Hye-Youn Lee and Luis Gomes lead the cast as Mimì and Rodolfo.
Theatre Royal, Glasgow, 9, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20 May; touring to 17 June

3 The Beatitudes

Tippett’s King Priam and Britten’s War Requiem are better remembered, but this Arthur Bliss cantata was also commissioned for the consecration of Coventry Cathedral in 1962. For this revival, Andrew Davis conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.
Barbican Hall, EC2, 12 May

4 L’incoronazione di Poppea

John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists began their cycle of Monteverdi’s operas with Il Ritorno d’Ulisse In Patria, and they continue it here with his final stage work. The same troupe of baroque specialists take the solo roles; Hana Blažíková is Poppea and Kangmin Justin Kim is Nerone.
Colston Hall, Bristol, 8 May

5 Sukanya

When Ravi Shankar died in 2012, he left unfinished his only opera. The score of Sukanya has now been completed by Shankar’s collaborator David Murphy, and he conducts the premiere with Susanna Hurrell in the title role.
Curve Theatre, Leicester, 12 May

Contributor

Andrew Clements

The GuardianTramp

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