From Adès’ angel to Verdi’s fat knight: what to see as classical and opera venues reopen

Live music is back across the UK; we pick ten events to brighten the coming months

La Clemenza di Tito

The Royal Opera is straight off the mark, opening its new production of Mozart’s opera seria on the very first day live audiences are permitted again at Covent Garden. Richard Jones directs La Clemenza di Tito; it’s designed by Ultz, with Edgaras Montvidas as Tito and Nicole Chevalier as Vitellia. Revivals of La Bohème and Don Giovanni follow in June and July.
Royal Opera House, London, 17–23 May.

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Modifications to the stage in Symphony Hall will allow the CBSO to muster a socially distanced orchestra of up to 80 players in a weekly series of concerts, with each programme played twice. Edward Gardner conducts the first of them, which includes Debussy’s La Mer; later highlights include the world premiere of Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel Symphony, conducted by Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.
Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 19 May–7 July.

Summer at Snape

Ryan Wigglesworth heads for the coast with the BBCSO.
Ryan Wigglesworth heads for the coast with the BBCSO. Photograph: Benjamin Ealovega

Though there will be no Aldeburgh festival this summer, Britten Pears Arts is promising a full programme of concerts each weekend through the summer. Announced so far are visits from the BBC and London Symphony Orchestras in May, while the June programme includes premieres of works by Tansy Davies, Mark-Anthony Turnage, John Tavener, John Woolrich and Stephen Hough, and an evening of Samuel Beckett and Morton Feldman from soprano Juliet Fraser.
Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, 21 May–11 July.

Hallé Orchestra

The Hallé’s music director Mark Elder opens and closes the orchestra’s six-date summer season, with programmes in which Russian repertoire features prominently; Tabita Berglund, Stephen Bell and Tomáš Hanus conducts the other concerts, which include Beethoven’s Seventh and Schumann’s Spring Symphonies, and a suite from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Each programme is played twice.
Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, 3 June–22 July.


Riot Ensemble
New music … Riot Ensemble Photograph: Justyna Skwierawska

Snape Maltings aside, there are few interesting new-music events announced so far for the coming months. One exception is the Riot Ensemble’s performance of Georg Friedrich Haas’s epic microtonal score, composed for them in 2019. Until its final redeeming moments, Solstices is played from memory in complete darkness, the instrumentalists communicating with each other only through sound.
Kings Place, London, 11 June.

Leeds lieder festival

Four packed days of masterclasses and recitals under the directorship of pianist Joseph Middleton. Iain Burnside, Felicity Lott, Thomas Allen, and James Gilchrist and Anna Tilbrook give the masterclasses, while there are recitals from Alice Coote, Natalya Romaniw, Roderick Williams and Carolyn Sampson, and a performance of the five Britten canticles with Mark Padmore, Iestyn Davies and Peter Brathwaite.
Victoria Hall, Leeds, 17–20 June.

The Dancing Master

The stand-out event at the Buxton international festival’ is a rare outing for Malcolm Arnold’s one-act comedy opera. Composed in 1952 and based on William Wycherley’s restoration play, it was originally intended for television, but was rejected as too bawdy and was never staged in the composer’s lifetime. The Buxton production is conducted by John Andrews and staged by Susan Moore. Buxton Opera House, 9 to 22 July.


Roland Wood will tackle Falstaff.
Roland Wood will tackle Verdi’s Falstaff. Photograph: James Glossop

Scottish Opera’s outdoor production of La Bohème last September was a huge success, and the follow-up is a staging of Verdi’s comic masterpiece in the same Glasgow location. David McVicar is the director and the designer, and Stuart Stratford conducts; Roland Wood is Falstaff, and Elizabeth Llewellyn is Alice Ford.
Edington Street Production Studios, Glasgow, July (dates to be confirmed).

BBC Proms 2021

Programme details for this summer’s Proms are not due to be revealed until 27 May, but the BBC has already announced that the season will be two weeks shorter than usual. And rumour has it that the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s principal guest conductor, Dalia Stasevska, will take charge of the opening night.
Royal Albert Hall, London, 30 July-11 September.

Nevill Holt Opera

The Nevill Holt season has been moved to August this year to minimise the risk of cancellation, and its productions are being presented in a purpose-built outdoor auditorium. There are two shows; La Traviata is directed by Jamie Manton, with Susana Gaspar and Luis Gomes heading the cast, and Seán Boylan takes the title role in Don Giovanni, which is staged by Jack Furness.
Nevill Holt Opera, Leicestershire, 4-25 August.


Andrew Clements

The GuardianTramp

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