Prom 13: Des canyons aux étoiles, Sakari Oramo & BBCSO, Royal Albert Hall, 28th July
Major anniversary focuses at this year’s BBC Proms include Berlioz, pioneering Venetian composer Barbara Strozzi and Queen Victoria. But the highlight of July is a modern masterpiece. Inspired by the landscape of Utah, Olivier Messiaen’s Des canyons aux étoiles… is an ecstatic musical meditation on nature and the divine. Across 12 movements and 100 minutes, he conjures sonic visions of deserts, rustling with sand, towering rock faces flushing chalky red and, finally, the heavens. Nicolas Hodges and Martin Owen join Sakari Oramo and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Noye’s Fludde, ENO & Stratford East, 2nd to 13th July
From raindrops heard clinking on slung mugs to the heart-soaring finale, Noye’s Fludde is the perfect mixture of homespun artlessness and sophistication. Benjamin Britten’s enchanting one-act opera retells the story of Noah using amateur and professional forces, including a whole arkful of children. ENO teams up with the Theatre Royal Stratford East for a new staging directed by Lyndsey Turner that brings together community groups with the company’s own soloists.
Die Zauberflöte, Glyndebourne, 18th July to 24th August
Expect spectacle and energy from Glyndebourne’s brand new production of Mozart’s Enlightenment fairy tale—the first in over a decade—by the Franco-Canadian team Barbe and Doucet, whose shows delight in gorgeous visual fantasy. A political edge is provided by its suffragette theme. Ryan Wigglesworth conducts an exciting young cast, including Björn Bürger as Papageno, Brindley Sherratt as Sarastro, and Russian soprano Sofia -Fomina as Pamina.