Opera North's Carmen

The best classical and opera in the UK this month

Mozart and his contemporaries at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, plus Chrystal E Williams as Carmen
September 1, 2021

Víkingur Ólafsson: Mozart & Contemporaries 

Queen Elizabeth Hall, 2nd October. Dubbed “Iceland’s Glenn Gould” by the New York Times, pianist Víkingur Ólafsson has won every award going over the past few years. His latest project, released this September, pairs music by Mozart with works by his contemporaries. Cimarosa and Galuppi come up bright in Ólafsson’s hands, casting Mozart’s virtuosic late piano works in a new light. Featuring plenty of new transcriptions by Ólafsson, this recital should be anything but run of the mill.

Carmen, Opera North

Leeds, Salford, Newcastle and elsewhere, 2nd to 28th October with dates in 2022. Bizet’s blood-soaked operatic classic (above) tours all over the north of England this autumn in a new production by Edward Dick. If Dick’s five-star Tosca for the company back in 2018 is anything to go by, we can expect brutality and sensuality in equal measure. Mezzo-soprano Chrystal E Williams’s sumptuous voice will tackle some of the most famous (and sexiest) arias in the repertoire. She’s joined by Canadian tenor Antoine Bélanger as good-boy-gone-bad Don José. Antony Hermus and Garry Walker share conducting duties.

Koyaanisqatsi, Philharmonia Orchestra

Royal Festival Hall, 21st October. When American filmmaker Godfrey Reggio met minimalist composer Philip Glass in the 1980s the results were electric. Together they produced the groundbreaking trilogy of Qatsi films—cinematic tone-poems in which man’s relationship to nature and technology is explored in hypnotic, wordless sequences of image and sound. The Philharmonia Orchestra is offering a rare opportunity to see Koyaanisqatsi—the cult first film in the triptych—accompanied by a live performance of the score, conducted by Michael Riesman.