The best classical and opera in October 2020—La Bohème at Alexandra Palace and Oxford Lieder Festival

Plus the autumn concert series at Wigmore Hall
August 30, 2020

La Bohème, ENO Drive-In, Alexandra Palace, 8th to 27th September

English National Opera is heading to the grounds of Alexandra Palace for the UK’s first ever drive-in opera. Puccini’s La Bohème will be performed in a modern staging with equally modern technology. Expect the singers to be miked, and screens to flank the stage. ENO’s chorus and orchestra are joined by two starry casts of young singers, led by Welsh soprano Natalya Romaniw (a hit in the role in 2018) and tenor David Butt Philip (last seen seamlessly replacing an indisposed Jonas Kaufmann at the Royal Opera) as Mimi and Rodolfo. 

Oxford Lieder Festival, 10th to 17th October

Live performances will go ahead at Oxford’s Lieder Festival but only digitally. There is a sweetener: access to new spaces, and a chance to glimpse some of the city’s hidden treasures. The roster is glossy: James Gilchrist, Ian Bostridge, Carolyn Sampson and Roderick Williams will perform seven centuries of music from Machaut to Britten.

Autumn Concert Series, Wigmore Hall, 13th September to 1st November

Wigmore Hall has led the way with the return of live music online, and this autumn they’re back for real. Sixty out of 80 events will be available to attend live, but will also be streamed. Each concert will last 60 to 90 minutes with no interval. Artists include baritone Christian Gerhaher, pianist András Schiff, harpsichord virtuoso Mahan Esfahani, pianist Igor Levit and avant-garde collective Apartment House.